CREST’s story starts with its founder, Roberto Verzola. Known to many as Ka Obet, he was an environmental justice activist and social scientist who pioneered the creation and adoption of open source systems. He was widely-regarded as the “Father of Philippine email” for setting up the first email systems for academic, civil organizations, and public institutions in the country.
Ka Obet started his work on renewable energy long before the establishment of the first solar PV farm in the country. His passion for promoting sustainable energy started with the campaign against the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. In 2015, Ka Obet founded the Center for Renewable Electricity Strategies to push renewable energy policies and programs. CREST expanded its campaigns and was renamed to its current name, Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology. It is registered as a non-profit, non-stock company.
Ka Obet continued to dedicate his expertise to finding solutions to reduce technology costs and make renewable energy more affordable to Filipinos. He designed and developed prototypes of pico hydro made of off-the-shelf materials, and experimented on discarded motor engines as components for small-scale windmills.
We honor Ka Obet’s legacy by continuing his life’s work and mission to help our cities and communities build climate-resilient and sustainable systems.