Manila, June 20, 2023—The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded more than Php65 million ($1.16 million) in grants to support energy security and conservation in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela.
This significant funding was announced by USAID Assistant Administrator for Asia, Michael Schiffer, during his visit to the Philippines from June 15 to 18.
Boosting Energy Security and Conservation
The grants have been provided to USAID’s Filipino partners, Tri-Sky Inc. and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, as part of the Energy Secure Philippines program, which has a total budget of Php1.6 billion ($34 million).
The funds will be used to facilitate local energy planning and the implementation of renewable energy technologies, including solar roofing and nano generators, in the provinces.
The aim is to enhance energy access in remote communities, enabling them to better prepare for and recover from natural disasters.
Furthermore, the communities surrounding the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement sites in Lal-lo and Santa Ana will also benefit from these grants.
“Energy is the Foundation for Prosperity”
Assistant Administrator Schiffer emphasized the importance of energy in supporting essential services such as banking, telecommunications, digital platforms, health, education, and transportation.
“USAID understands that energy is the foundation for various systems,”
He also expressed enthusiasm for the partnership with the Philippines to expand access to sustainable energy in remote communities, ultimately improving the prosperity of families across the country.
Preserving Forests in Sierra Madre
In addition to the energy grants, Assistant Administrator Schiffer launched the “From Ridge to River” project in collaboration with the Mabuwaya Foundation and the Agta Indigenous Peoples community at Sitio Golden Valley in Barangay San Mariano.
This initiative aims to conserve forests in the northern Sierra Madre region. USAID will work closely with local communities, partners, and government officials to safeguard the natural beauty and ecological balance of the area. Assistant
Administrator Schiffer applauded the project’s launch, emphasizing the importance of preserving the region’s biodiversity.
Assistant Administrator Schiffer’s Itinerary
During his visit to the Philippines, Assistant Administrator Schiffer also delivered a speech at the Asian Development Bank’s annual Asia Clean Energy Forum in Manila.
He also took the opportunity to visit a USAID-supported drug rehabilitation program in Mandaluyong City.
Additionally, during his visit to Palawan, Assistant Administrator Schiffer had the opportunity to explore the breathtaking Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.
He also witnessed the efficient waste collection and sorting practices in place. Furthermore, he engaged in fruitful discussions with civil society organizations concerning the pressing issue of illegal fishing in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
Lastly, he gained valuable insights into the commendable efforts of the Philippine Coast Guard in safeguarding marine resources in Philippine waters aboard the BRP Teresa Magbanua.