CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, (PIA) – Some 267 families located in the hinterlands of Samar can now bid goodbye to the ‘lampara’ they use at nighttime.

On Monday, three Punong Barangays from the Seven Hills area in Calbayog City joined Mayor Ronald Aquino received the solar panel, bulbs and solar charger from the Department of Energy- Affiliation of Renewable Energy Center (DOE-AREC) engineers based in the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP), Catarman, Northern Samar.

Engineers Lidany Cornilles and Simon Tan demonstrated to the three Punong Barangays of Mabini, San Antonio and Olera how the system works.

“Lampara gud la an amon gamit pagsuga,”(We use kerosene lamp as source of light) PB Sixto Vicentino of San Antonio told PIA. He added that the price of kerosene is too heavy for his people.

His 600 households easily accepted that they have to shell out some P 200.00 a month for the project’s sustainability.

“The money they shared is their stake, so that, they can claim ownership of the program,” said Simon Tan.

The money is deposited in a rural bank and will be used to purchase damaged gears in the future.

The Household Electrification Project of the energy department can provide each household with four bulbs, one charger that can also be used to charge cellphones, MP3 player and even a DVD player.

While the punong barangays acknowledge that they might need the new gadgets for entertainment and information, the provision of the light is giving them more excitement.

“Of course, we will not discard the ‘lampara’ just in case, but we can give it some rest,” Rodrigo Wahingon of Barangay Olera said in jest.

The project targets rural barangays that are not yet in the list of the electric cooperative that services other barangays in Calbayog.

Engr Rafaelito Serrano, assistant city engineer who is in charge of overseeing the project said that some ten more remote barangays have yet to enjoy the same solar energy project. (jrc/nbq/PIA 8-Samar)