Department of Health (DOH) MIMAROPA Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo visited Marinduque on February 5, 2017 to have a firsthand assessment and evaluation of the current state of health in the province. Various concerns were identified including limited access to reliable electricity which is critical to health care delivery especially in island barangays and far flung mountain areas in the province.

To address these issues, Director Janairo requested the technical assistance of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the provision of solar power system. Solar power is an alternative source of energy that will provide uninterruptible supply of electricity to identified primary birthing stations, barangay health centers and rural health units.

Three (3) health facilities were piloted for the feasibility and sustainability of the solar home system (SHS) in the province to ensure uninterruptible power supply located in barangays Dolores, Bantay and Maniwaya.

The three SHS project including installation are funded by DOH MIMAROPA amounting to P2,000,000.00. Procurement of supplies and materials were shouldered by the DOST MIMAROPA amounting to P30,000.00

Director Janairo said that the system will have a 150 watts capacity which can operate a personal refrigerator for 24 hours, 4 electric fans for 8 hours, 12 units of led bulbs for a maximum of 10 hours and compressor for dental equipment for 6 hours.

To sustain the proper functioning of SHS, DOST will handle the maintenance of all electrification equipment. Maintenance of these facilities include routine check-up, major overhauls, and replacement of essential parts.

Currently, there are 14 RHUs with SHS installed in MIMAROPA. These are located in the barangays of Paraiso in Lubang and Guitna in Looc, both in Occidental Mindoro; barangays of Poblacion in Baco and Poblacion in Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro; RHUs in Torrijos, Gasan, Buenavista, and Mogpog in Marinduque; RHUs in Magdiwang and San Jose located in Carabao Island in Romblon; RHUs in Agutaya, Cagayancillo, Dumaran and Linapacan in Palawan.

“We will install at least 15 more SHS in all RHUs with RxBox in the whole region to help power these devices that will enable consultations with patients in remote areas,” Director Janairo assured.

The RxBox enables remote consultations between a patient, health worker and medical specialist located in urban areas. It enables health workers to diagnose, monitor and treat patients within the rural health facility. It is designed to provide improved access to life-saving health care services.

The upgrading of existing solar systems and installation of the 29 Rx Box sites with SHS amount to P1,145,500.00 is funded by DOH MIMAROPA. A counterpart of P245,000.00 for the installation and other incidental costs will be handled by DOST MIMAROPA.