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232. Beyond Rural Electrification

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Coop Name: Davao Oriental Electric Cooperative, Inc. (DORECO) N° of Employees: 142
City: Mati City N° of Members: 65909
Country: Philippines Year of formation: 1977
Website: http://www.dorecomati.com/#Homepage
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Since 1977 the DORECO has been not only a mere catalyst, but a strong pillar of progress and economic development both in the urban areas and in the countryside of the Province of Davao Oriental. With just a loan from the government as its sole capitalization, DORECO has grown to deliver electric service even to the remotest areas of the province. Today, as a result of the solidarity and progressive orientation of its workforce, the DORECO is determined to become a strong cooperative, capable of surviving the incoming era of a deregulated and highly competitive power industry.

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A casual visit sometime in the summer of 2007 in Purok Cadanlaan, Dahican, a secluded and quiet village in the shoreline of the Pacific at the eastern part of the City of Mati was the start of a “dream come true” for the residents of the village and its neighboring ones.

No more was this about electrifying the area since most of the villagers had already benefited from the DORECO’s electric service many years back. Rather, this was about their need for potable water.

Just like electricity, the residents had been longing for 50 years for a pure and safe drinking water to be made available in every home in the villages. Aware of the DORECO’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program in assisting people in depressed and neglected communities, the leaders of the villages instead appealed to the DORECO for help to realize this particular basic need of potable water.

Although the DORECO understood the present plight of the residents, it was a tall order on its part. Aside from the huge funding requirement, the DORECO had no expertise on water sourcing and distribution. Nevertheless, the residents were serious and insistent in their appeal. They turned to the DORECO for assistance since several attempts to provide water during the past had resulted in failures. They had already lost hope. The DORECO responded that with its limitations, it could commit and it had the willingness to assist them especially given its existing tie-up with the Rural Electrification Development Foundation (REDF) and Big Rivers Electric Company in Kentucky, USA in its CSR programs. For the DORECO management, there was nothing to lose if it gave it a try.

Thus, after nearly two years of consultation, meetings, coordination and preparation, the CAMALCA water system was finally launched on January 28, 2010, including the actual test and testing of the first potable water from the pipes. CAMALCA is the acronym of the four Muslim-dominant villages namely: Cadanlaan, Maonao, Lupang and Casosoan. It took almost two long years to complete the project because the site of the reservoir has no electric line and negotiations were also needed to get the consent of property owner, Mr. Manolo Campos, to allow the putting up of the water source and elevated tank in his farm property.

The water system project is also a realization for all of us that the “bayanihan spirit” can go beyond the borders of rural electrification. DORECO carries the electrical wires and the residents and recipients in the four villages carry the water pipes and volunteer labor for the development of communal faucets in every village. Today, more than two hundred (200) Muslim homes are provided with metered water services. It is indeed a meaningful feat for the DORECO Warriors of Light and our Partners like the REDF to be better Christians to our Muslim brothers and sisters in Dahican, City of Mati, Davao Oriental.

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