The CHED Newton Fund Institutional Links Project team which is composed of faculty researchers and graduate students of the School of Engineering of the University of San Carlos went to Gilutongan Island in Cordova, Cebu to conduct a community and load profiling survey last April 17-20, 2018.
This survey is part of the defined task of the project to achieve its objectives. One of which is to develop a case study for energy access in islands and assess energy requirement as an approach for design and training. Primarily, the design of such systems is highly dependent on the load demand profile of the island as an input. Since the team has no load demand profile of Gilutongan Island, the team decided to conduct a survey to obtain the necessary information. Specifically, the team aims to determine the current economic activities of the island residents, their present energy use, measure statistically the potential increase in energy consumption if there is an additional energy source, and assess the quality of energy access in the island. This information will help the researchers in ascertaining whether the island residents currently have the capacity to pay for cost of energy.
Using the survey instruments that was evaluated and approved by the University of San Carlos Research Ethics Committee, the project team was divided into four groups and was assigned according to the number of purok in the island. The participation of survey respondents was voluntary. It was the discretion of the respondent to participate in the survey or not, and to continue or discontinue participating in the survey. The researchers were asked to respect the decision of the respondent to refuse participation and to discontinue answering the survey whatever the reason may be and whether they will provide a reason or not. The first two hours of the first day was spent in numbering the houses. Survey per purok was conducted considering the defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Survey for the households was conducted on the first and second day while survey for the businesses and facilities was conducted on the third day.
The team were able to survey a total of 306 households, 20 businesses, and five (5) facilities in the island. In addition, the three-day survey gave the researchers an opportunity to immerse and interact with the locals. Those interactions brought about a deeper understanding of the energy problem and its related aspects in the island.
Gilutongan is an island barangay (village) in Cordova, Cebu. The island forms part of the Olango Group of islands located in Cordova, Cebu. It has a total land area of 11.26 hectares1 with 10 hectares originally declared as marine protected area (MPA) 2. It is a low-lying island elevated at about 10 meters above sea level with lands primarily covered by limestone, coral, rubble, and sand. As of 2017 data from the local government unit, Gilutongan Island has 1,875 residents and 342 households. Thirty percent of the land is owned by locals while 70% is owned by outsiders and primarily used for resort that caters tourist, mostly foreigners, who come to the island 3.
The island is one of the three villages in Cordova with the lowest rate of college-educated residents 1. Majority of the residents are in the elementary level (40%) and high school level (30%) with few having graduated both elementary and high school 3. There is also a make-shift health centre and an elementary school. The main source of income for the residents are small-time vending, shell collection, souvenir vending, live seafood vending, seaweed farming, and fishing. The average monthly income per household is approximately PhP 6,000 (US$120).
The island is powered by a 200-kVA diesel generator set and electricity is made available to residents every day from 6pm until 10pm. Each household pays roughly PhP 42.50 (US$ 0.85) per day or about PhP 1,300.00 (US$ 26) per month for fuel. Both tariffs are considered too steep for the meager income of the locals. The island’s elementary school is powered by a 5.2-kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system donated by Edison Lamps 4. (Engr. Arben S. Vallente)
1“Municipality of Cordova.” [Online]. Available: http://cordova.gov.ph/index.php/about-cordova/physical-profile. [Accessed: 04-Sep-2017].
2M. A. Ross, A. T. White, A. C. Sitoy, and T. Menguito, “Experience from improving management of an ‘ urban ’ marine protected area : Gilutongan Marine Sanctuary , Philippines,” no. October, 2000.
3F. Sotto, J. Gatus, M. Ross, M. F. Portigo, and F. Freire, Coastal Environmental Profile of Olango Island, Cebu, Philippines. Cebu City: Coastal Resource Management Project, 2001.
4K. Zipp, “SunEdison works to bring electricity to 20 million people by 2020,” Solar Power World, Cleveland, Feb-2015.
*1 USD= PhP 50.00