Recto bill seeks to install solar power systems in far-flung households, schools


    SENATE President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has filed a bill seeking the electrification of households and public school in far-flung areas of the country through the use of solar energy systems.

    Recto’s Senate Bill No. 1078 will tap the government’s share of the proceeds of the Malampaya Natural Gas Project to fund the installation of solar energy systems in targeted public schools and households. The ensuing funding would be split 90-10 between households and public schools.

    The senator cited that of the 22.7 million households in the country as of 2017, 2.36 million have no access to electricity. Meanwhile, 5,743 out of the total 45,752 public schools remain off-grid based on the 2016 status report of the Department of Education.

    “Lack of electricity in public schools creates considerable obstacles towards digital literacy because the students have no access to computers and other digital equipment,” he said in a statement yesterday.

    Recto argued that solar energy is “the most abundant renewable energy resource that can be installed to generate power at a faster rate than fossil fuel-based power plants.”

    The senator said he believed the measure would allow the government to reach its targets of full electrification of all missionary areas by 2022 and renewable energy utilization of 15,304 megawatts by 2030 (the figure is currently 5,438 MW).