Solar power is brightening up the health care delivery in MIMAROPA.

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The Rural Health Unit in Brgy.Maniwaya, Sta Cruz, Marinduque is now equipped with a 750-watt Solar Home System

After some 750-watt solar home systems (SHS) were put in place in rural health facilities in barangays Bantay and Maniwaya in Boac and Sta. Cruz respectively, health workers and concerned local government officials are now more confident that their health care services will go the extra mile.

The solar home systems were installed through the collaboration of the departments of science and health in MIMAROPA, in partnership with the local government of Marinduque.

After the systems’ installation, the rural health facilities now have power for lighting, ventilation, and cold storage of vaccines. The power also enables the facilities to be operational on a 24-hr basis.

The basic system consists of solar panel, charge controller, battery and inverter installed in a way that could get the maximum energy from sunlight.

Now with a reliable power supply, the health facilities can also already fully use the RxBox for checkups to safeguard patients’ health, especially those of expectant mothers.

Like most medical devices, the RxBox runs on electricity.  However, this telehealth technology was not fully maximized because of the struggle to connect to the grid and maintain a reliable power supply.

In another development, the local government units  of Gasan and Boac proposed for the roll out of solar home system technology in three of the most isolated areas in Marinduque-- barangays Pinggan (Gasan), Tumagabok, and Binunga (Boac). A birthing facility in Brgy Binuga soon will also have a solar home system to address the dire need for consistent power supply. This paves way to an improved and sustainable healthcare access even to farthest communities in the province.

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A 750-watt Solar Home System set-up inside RHU-Bantay with 5 (6sm) batteries, sine wave inverter, and solar controllers

The establishment of solar home systems is the result of the advocacy of the Department of Science and Technology-MIMAROPA (DOST-MIMAROPA) Regional Director Ma. Josefina P. Abilay to provide meaningful healthcare improvement in rural communities across the region through innovative solutions. DOST-MIMAROPA’s persistent lobbying efforts convinced the Department of Health-MIMAROPA (DOH-MIMAROPA) and local government units in Marinduque to move first in electrification of health facilities in Marinduque using the solar home system.

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PSTD Bernardo T. Caringal and Mr. Renato Jogno oriented and demonstrated to Dr. Rowena Grace Garcia the newly installed Solar Home System in RHU-Bantay.

Solar energy: Your go-to power source during disasters
Extreme-weather related disasters affecting the Philippines usually result in power loss and damage in communication lines, aside from the horrific loss of lives and properties. Many people too are forced to live in evacuation centers in the hopes of getting away from danger and staying in a safe shelter.

Mogpog Mayor Senen Livelo, recognizing the need for constant energy supply in critical facilities like evacuation centers, called on DOST-MIMAROPA through the Provincial Science and Technology Center in Marinduque (PSTC-Marinduque) as partner of  LGU-Mogpog. Together, they installed a disaster-ready solar home system technology for lighting, ventilation, and charging communication gadgets and other devices in 18 barangay halls in Mogpog namely: Dulong Bayan, Gitnang Bayan, Sumangga, Banto, Lamesa, Malayak, Paye, Hinadharan, Sayao, Guisan, Balanacan, Villa Mendez, Laon, Brgy. Capayang, Argao, Market Site, Bocboc and Silangan. These solar-powered barangay halls will serve as well-equipped shelters that can accommodate people when natural disaster strikes.

Apart from the barangay halls, the solar home system will soon be available to six national high schools across Mogpog as well as in schools located in two of the most geographically-isolated areas in Marinduque: barangays Pinggan  in Gaspar Island, Gasan and Tumagabok in Boac. The solar home system will enable at least three classrooms to serve as alternative evacuation centers with uninterrupted power supply in critical times or during emergency.

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