On July 8, 2021, the SOLARES project invited the members of its project management team and project implementation team for a Joint PMT-PIT Meeting cum Mid-year Annual Planning.

Together with Mahintana Foundation, Inc., and Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), physically present during the meeting were Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SUKELCO), Bacbacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Kalamansig Coffee Growers’ Inc., and KPS-Small Enterprise and Economic Development Microfinance, Inc. The Coalition of Social Development Organizations in South Cotabato (CSDO-SC) also joined the meeting for partnering with PEF on the upcoming activities in the livelihood component. The rest of project partners joined via Zoom (South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, Inc., Sta. Cruz Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Kiamba Micro Entrepreneurs’ Multipurpose Cooperative, and PEF).

Project updates were presented by component. On social preparation and community mobilisation, during the actual solar home system (SHS) installation, there were beneficiaries who backed out and new member-consumers who signed up upon seeing the SHS package. There was a significant number of beneficiaries of Maasim, Kiamba, and Malitum areas expressed interest in availing the SHS package despite the sign-up period having ended. For the RE/SHS Electrification component, as of June 30, 2021, 3,874 off-grid households solar are energized/energy-secured through the SOLARES project.

On capacity building and technical assistance, follow-through trainings on finance and enterprise management are to be conducted. Mr. Babera added there are pending trainings: online sessions will be conducted for Sarangani partners on the end of July. With the travel restrictions lifted in the area, physical training for Sultan Kudarat partners will be facilitated in the coming weeks.

On Livelihood/Financing and PURE (Productive uses of renewable energy) Support, there was already an online pre-bid meeting held last June 28 for the supply, delivery, and installation of solar-powered water systems (SPWS) (SB-SOLARES-PURE-21-01). SPWS are only one of the many PURE proposals to be implemented in Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat.

The proposed spending plan was also approved during the meeting and other PURE and non-PURE proposals to be implemented during the remainder of the project duration and in line with the request for possible project extension as with the intentions of the implementers and its partners.

Participants observed safety protocols such as wearing of masks and social distancing during the event.

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