Now that the rains have begun to fall – a sign that the rainy season is about to begin with the “habagat” southwest winds — we may be tempted to forget what we should have done during the months when we had plenty of sun. We were so concerned with the fear of water shortages that we may have neglected planning and acting to make use of the abundant sunlight then falling on our islands.
But some officials did continue to plan for actual projects. Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista may have only a month left before he has to turn over the city government to new Mayor Joy Belmonte, but he is proceeding with a plan to install solar panels in all of the city’s public schools.
The city has been constructing schoolbuildings and classrooms to accommodate the increasing number of public school students. But this also means an increase in the city’s electricity bills, he said, as he disclosed plans to install solar panels in all the city schools.
Meanwhile in the Senate, a bill granting a 25-year franchise to Leandro Leviste’s Solar para sa Bayan was finally approved. It will now proceed to construct, install, operate, and maintain such systems to harvest power from the sun and distribute it to unserved and underserved areas in the country.
Leviste’s Solar Philippines set up the country’s largest solar facility, the 63-megawatt Calatagan Solar Farm, in 2016. At the time the Calatagan solar farm was established, Leviste said, “Whereas others see solar as just a part of their portfolio, we believe it will one day supply the largest share of the energy mix.”
Our country is known for its rich natural resources, especially its copper, gold, and nickel. But we have equally valuable natural resources in our sunlight, rains, rivers, the geothermal energy beneath our volcanos, and biomass energy from our farms.
Now that the rains are beginning to fall, it is good to know that we continue to proceed with plans to reap the solar energy we have in great abundance during the summer season. We thus welcome Mayor Bautista’s solar panel plans for city schools and the Senate approval of a franchise for Solar para sa Bayan.