5 November 2002 – Shell Solar Philippines Corporation has negotiated a loan of P2.6m ($49 000) from the Cooperative Bank of Palawan (CBP) in order to bring electricity to remote areas of the Philippine region of Palawan.

A memorandum of agreement was signed recently in the southern town of Aborlan. Frederick Piedad, who represented Shell, said the financing programme through the CBP materialized after a survey showed that 80 000 households in the far-flung communities in the province have no access to electricity.

Epifanio Magbanua, CBP chairman, said the loans to qualifying households are repayable over five years at a 16 per cent interest rate per annum. Under the scheme, the cooperative bank, upon receiving verification that the household-applicant is qualified, will pay the full amount of the solar power system to Shell Solar Philippines Corporation.

“Solar systems are expensive but through the Cooperative Bank, it can be availed of either with cash or through an instalment basis,” Piedad said.