“I can now take my time going home without fearing for my safety,” a resident from Barangay Ulitan in Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan said upon the completion of solar light installation in their area, funded through the Transitional Development Impact Fund (TDIF) allocated to the Office of Deputy Speaker Atty. Laisa Masuhud Alamia.

The solar-energized barangays include Barangays Semut and Lower Bato-bato in Akbar municipality; Barangays Bacung in Sumisip; Barangays Ulitan in Ungkaya Pukan municipality, Barangay Fuente Maluso in Maluso municipality; Barangay Lahi-Lahi in Tuburan municipality; and Barangay Bulanting in Lamitan City.

Last October 18, District Engineer Kasim Ajalal Hasanin of the Ministry of Public Works in Basilan shared that 190 units of solar-powered streetlights are now operational across the province. Said streetlights were installed in select barangays as part of efforts to keep communities safe across Basilan, with at least one barangay beneficiary in every municipality in the province.

Children have expressed their gratitude for the project, saying that it has given them “more time to play with our friends outside our homes” and that it has helped them in their studies, “since it has made it possible for us to read and do our homework whenever there is a power outage in our barangay.”

“It has given us more time to do more things that we would have otherwise rushed in the daytime,” said one of the residents in Barangay Lower Bato-bato. “Before I could only collect water for our household before sunset, but now I can go out of the house and fetch water even if we run out at night,” he said.

“That may be a small thing for other people, but it is a big thing for us here in our barangay,” he shared. “Finally having light out in our streets at night has really changed our lives.”