The Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (CREST), in partnership with United Methodist Committee on Relief – Manila Episcopal Area (UMCOR-MEA), continues to promote the adoption of renewable energy to enhance emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction initiatives of climate-vulnerable communities.

The recent beneficiary of the CREST-UMCOR partnership is Barangay Mahabang Dahilig, an upland barangay in Batangas City, Batangas. The groups deployed a 365Wp off-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) system that automatically activates during power interruptions to deliver back-up lighting and electricity to the barangay hall. The said building also served as the emergency command center of the local government unit.

The back-up power from solar energy will lessen the barangay’s dependence on the use of diesel-powered generator during brownouts. The barangay’s cutback on fossil fuel use will result in financial savings and will be more beneficial to the environment since operating solar PV systems do not emit greenhouse gasses and other pollutants. “Sa maliit na hakbangin, sa maliit na gawain, pag pinagsama sama ‘yan, magiging malaki ang impact nito para sa ating kalikasan,” said Josephine Cedillo, UMCOR-MEA Disaster Management Coordinator.

The community solar PV system was commissioned on April 15, 2023, and a simultaneous launch of a community-based early warning system was held in the barangay. The provision of renewable energy was part of the community’s DRR plan.

The early warning system will help families prepare before and during disasters. Meanwhile, the solar panel modules installed on the roof show the efforts of the barangay in maximizing the unlimited source of power from the sun. Barangay Mahabang Dahilig now joins many communities in the country that embraces renewable energy.