BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) marked its 45th year of harnessing indigenous power, with geothermal energy derived from Negros Oriental, accounting for more than 25.1 percent, which is equivalent to 955 megawatts of the Visayas region’s 1,667 MW total installed renewable energy capacity.
This is also equivalent to 43.8 percent of the region’s 3,809MW total installed capacity as of 2019, according to the 2019 power situation report of the Department of Energy.
More than 220 MW of this comes from EDC’s Southern Negros geothermal facility in Valencia, Negros Oriental, its 112.5MW Palinpinon-1 providing uninterrupted source of Geo 24/7 to the Visayas region for over 37 years, according to Engr. Debonaire Mamhot, head of EDCs Negros Island geothermal facility.
True to its regenerative mission, EDC is elevating its communities in Valencia by providing them free public wifi, starting off with Barangay Puhagan, which the project is being undertaken in partnership with Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Barangay Puhagan in Valencia, Negros Oriental is soon to be the first off-grid barangay in the country to be wifi-connected once the DICT delivers and installs its 10mbps bandwidth-on-demand facility at their barangay hall this March.
“We are commemorating EDC’s 45th anniversary by providing this much-needed free wifi to our partner communities despite our limited mobility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, because we know how crucial it is for them to be connected to the rest of the world amid these challenging times,” said Norreen G. Bautista, head of EDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility team in Negros Island.
Barangay Puhagan Chair Leonarda Sarita personally thanked EDC for its cash donation of P735,000 for the cost of labor and the purchase of necessary materials and equipment, and DICT for the procurement of the fixed wireless broadband network for their barangay hall.
Former NOCCI President and now Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Governor for Central Visayas Edward C. Du likewise lauded this strong synergy that should serve as a model and showcase for all LGUs in the country especially during these trying times.
The EDC also helped the province of Negros Oriental in putting up its own molecular testing laboratory, by donating P11 million worth of equipment.
“Being regenerative is about creating shared value which enables EDC to provide that much needed clean, renewable, stable Geo 24/7 to power our country and lower its carbon footprint as we strive to ensure that life and progress go on for our communities–with or without this invisible enemy,” Bautista said.*