MANILA, Philippines – The Cantingas River, situated in Romblon, supplies 90 percent clean energy to Sibuyan Island’s all three municipalities, showing the benefits of renewable energy to a small island-community.
Climate Reality Leadership Corps, in partnership with the Romblon State University, launched Sibuyan Isle River Camp Project, an island-wide campaign committed to preserve Cantingas River.
Municipality leaders, students, and religious groups headed to the river outflow in the City of San Fernando and planted ironwood trees, lit candles, and shared kagabkab (a kind of fried cassava crackers.)
“The ironwood symbolizes our resiliency [to mining] while the kagabkab, food security,” said Environmentalist and Climate Reality Leadership Corps Philippine district manager Rodne Galicha.
They wanted to send the message that ‘if we, a small island can do it, why not the rest of the country?’ Galicha added.
The Sibuyan Isle River Camp Project is part of a 10-minute feature on the 11th hour in the fourth “24 Hours of Reality,” an annual and global 24-hour multimedia show dedicated to inform the public and inspire activism for climate change, live-streamed from New York City last September 17.
The segment on Cantingas River, titled “Field Report: at the river camp in the Philippines,” is a video about Sibuyan’s clean energy ‘success story’.
Galicha is proud that since 2010, Sibuyan Island draws 90 percent of its power through clean energy from the Cantingas River’s hydroelectric powerplant that generates 900 kilowatts of power to supply the electricity use of the island’s 57,000 inhabitants.
“We used to be with Napocor (National Power Corp.) but whenever there are strong typhoons and the barge supposedly carrying fuel cannot dock, the whole island would lose electricity,” Galicha said.
Galicha was also seen scooping a cup of water directly from the river to show that it was not only a source of energy but of clean, potable water as well.
The feature also showed Climate Reality Leadership Corps empowering the young people to make a change for the environment and join the movement to promote clean energy.
With report from Cyra Moraleda