The National Geographic Channel (NGC) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WFF) gave 50 portable solar lamps to the Taw’Buid – a Mangyan group found in the remote mountains of Mindoro.
The deployment of the solar lamps was held last September 3 at the Mts. Iglit – Baco National Park.
“We gave portable solar lamps because burning fossil fuels accelerate climate change,” WWF-Philippines President and CEO Joel Palma said. “Solar energy is an economical and safe power source because there are no emissions to trigger respiratory ailments. Our goal is to cover basic Filipino needs while fighting climate change.”
With 15 million Filipinos lack regular access to electricity, the Taw’Buid tribe relies on kerosene and firewood in giving light to their homes.
The Taw’Buid or Batangan Tribe is one of the most numerous tribes among the Mangyan subgroups. They have about 20,000 members living in thatched huts.
Very few of have access to electricity, most of the members cut trees as firewood for light and heat in their households. The solar lamps will now ease the strain in Mindoro forests and give the tribe light and electricity source.
“No longer shall our people rely on fire for light. Thank you for the gift of eternal light,” said Taw’Buid Overall Tribal Chief Fausto Novelozo during the deployment.
Hammocks for Park Rangers
Aside from solar lamps, park rangers protecting the Mts. Iglit – Baco National Park were given new hammocks, rain gear and all – weather patrol uniforms from the Primer Group of Companies.
Since 2012, WWF has been working with the Tamaraw Conservation Programme (TCP), Far Eastern University (FEU), Banco De Oro Unibank (BDO), the local government of Occidental Mindoro and the Taw’Buid people to restore the forests of the Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park, which hosts the world’s largest population of Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) a critically endangered dwarf buffalo and one of the country’s national icons, the Philippine News Agency reports