globe.launches.fundMANILA — In line with the Ayala Group’s entry into renewable energy development, Globe Telecom will help power up about four million homes in far-flung areas through solar energy.

In a statement, Globe, the telecommunications arm of the Ayalas, said it is carrying out the Ride for Light 2011 campaign to provide four million homes across the country with safe, reliable and sustainable solar energy.

The company said the move is part of the company’s social commitment to uplift the lives of marginalized sectors of the community and, at the same time, help save the environment by reducing carbon emissions.

Globe said an initiative of the Solar Energy Foundation (SEF), Ride for Light 2011, covers 6,600-kilometers across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in just 19 days.

It focuses on social and ecological campaigns in approximately 40 remote communities all over the Philippines, with strong emphasis on various indigenous groups.

Portable solar home systems will be donated to trusted social partners in each village to connect the communities to the SEF network and give them access to electricity on a sustainable basis.

As the official telecom partner, Globe is helping raise awareness and support for the advocacy by providing mobile phones, Globe Prepaid Tattoo sticks, Globe prepaid SIM cards, and netbooks which will enable the participants to give daily updates of their mission to the public through blogs and tweets.

Likewise, the company has set up a GCash account for Ride for Light 2011 that will allow SEF to receive donations through mobile phones with just a text message.

“We are very excited about this new donation option. Through GCash, SEF will now be able to reach out to and encourage more people to help alleviate poverty by making valuable donations which will be used to provide solar energy to off-grid people throughout the Philippines. Every hundred pesos they donate through GCash can light one night for a family living without electricity,” said Rock-Li Kim of Hybrid Social Solutions, the distribution unit of SEF in the Philippines.

At present, 26.4 percent of the country’s population lives in rural, mountainous and farming areas that lack access to electricity.

Because of this, productive activity decreases or is brought to a standstill when the sun goes down.

Most households use kerosene, wood and disposable batteries to meet their basic energy needs, incurring high financial, health and environmental costs in the process.

The use of solar energy and solar-powered products can change the lives of these off-grid Filipinos by harnessing the sun’s energy and empowering them to take control of their economic and social development in the long run.

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