Team Energy Corporation Energized 1,500 villages nationwide
By: DANLOR CHAMP D. HIDALGO
SUAL -- The 1,500 barangays nationwide energized by the Team Energy Corporation, the power firm that operates the Sual Coal Fired power plant here, were formally turned over Friday to Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes.
The electrification of the said barangays was implemented by Team Energy under its program called Project Beacon or Barangay Electrification Assistance to Countryside Development.
Puno also turned over to Reyes the Cabalitian Island project here, one of the last batch of barangays energized under the Beacon project.
The ceremony was held at the Sual power plant marina.
It was witnessed by Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino Jr., Sual Mayor John Rodney Arcinue, Team Energy president Federico Puno, Sual Power Station manager Ruben Licerio, and the manager of Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative (Cenpelco).
"It is our honor to partner with government through the DOE (Department of Energy) in completing the electrification of the said barangays and spreading the benefits of electricity to the most far-flung barangays in the country. This paves the way for local economic development and increased livelihood and income opportunities for the beneficiary barangays," said Puno.
Project Beacon was launched in 2001. The cost of the project reached P1.5 billion.
Accordingly, it has provided electricity in several regions, including conflict areas in Mindanao. About 300,000 families (or about 1.5 million individuals) are now benefiting from it.
Secretary Reyes commended Team Energy saying project Beacon is the biggest social responsibility program carried out by a private corporation.
"The most important among the memorable experiences in Project Beacon are the partnerships we have established with over 44 electric cooperatives, 25 contractors, various civil society organizations, major international funding agencies, and other private corporations," said Puno.
He said the project was undertaken in support of the DOE's Expanded Rural Electrification program, which aims to achieve 100 percent barangay electrification until next year.
"With Project Beacon, it was never about the poles or lines and hardware or the man hours consumed. Project Beacon is about giving hope to our marginalized fellow Filipinos, about collaborating for development. It is about camaraderie, good governance, work efficiency, and stewardship. Its success did not lie in the number of barangays we electrified, but on the improvements in the quality of life of the barangay beneficiaries," Puno further stated.
Cabalitian Island is located 3.3 kilometers off the Sual power plant in Barangay Pangascasan. It was the last barangay of Sual to be energized.
To bring electricity to the households, the power firm provided two-kilometer submarine cable connecting the island to the mainland. About 250 households here finally had power last April 2008.