THE VILLAGE of Taocanga in a remote, upland part of Manay, Davao Oriental is celebrating its Christmas and New Year holidays for the first time with electricity. The 102 homes in three areas of the community received last Dec. 21 solar panels under the government’s Off-Grid Electrification Project, the provincial government said in a statement. “This is our maiden implementation but we hope to continue this project in the near future,” said Elmer P. Silveron, manager of the Manay Public Employment Service Office (PESO), which led the equipment delivery along with the Philippine Army. The P1-million project was funded by the Department of Labor and Employment and implemented in partnership with the Davao Oriental provincial government, and the Manay municipal government. The installed solar power system per household, with lithium batteries, has a capacity for lights, charging mobile phones and other small devices. Three communal television sets with satellite television service were also provided to the village. “We only ask that you take good care of these new equipment entrusted to you by the government,” said Mr. Silveron. The beneficiaries are responsible for setting and implementing the guidelines on the use and maintenance of the off-grid equipment. “We aim to establish peaceful and conflict-resilient communities. So, we are reaching out to conflict-affected areas and Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) to provide them basic services like this electrification project,” said 1st Lt. Jei-Em Tagufa, public information officer of the 67th Infantry Battalion.