THREE towns in Olutanga Island in Zamboanga Sibugay will soon be powered by a $1-million 1 megawatt solar farm, according to Secretary Emmanuel Piñol of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
Piñol said the project will be funded by a loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines. According to Piñol mayors of the towns of Olutanga, Mabuhay and Talusan agreed to put up the project citing its importance to reach the goal of establishing local tourism and processing facilities.
“MinDA will provide technical assistance in determining the viability of a solar farm on the island which is part of Zamboanga Sibugay. Currently, the island is served by an electric cooperative using a diesel generator,” Piñol said.
He added that MinDA also has an institutional program on renewable and green energy generation program especially for island communities.
The 20,000-hectare Olutanga Island is being developed as a major tourism destination in the Southern Philippines known for its snorkeling and diving sites and white sand beaches.
Piñol said production of high value aqua and fisheries products via fish cage farming is also being explored in the area as spear fishing is the current main source of income of residents.
For water supply, the three towns also agreed to jointly develop spring sources in the town of Mabuhay and will develop water catchment areas where mini-dams could be built.