Determined to end the suffering of poor Manileños who have no electricity, Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada empowered the so-called “Happy Land” housing settlement in Tondo by providing residents with free electricity connections.
At least 500 families in Aroma site, Barangay 105 are now supplied with power through the electrification program of Estrada and One Meralco Foundation, the social development arm of the Manila Electric Co.
“I know how difficult it is to have no electricity. If our can put up street lamps, we can also light up homes,” he said, adding that this is a joint effort of the city government and Meralco to help Manila’s “poorest of the poor.”
Home to at least 3,000 residents, Aroma is a temporary housing site put up by the National Housing Authority in Tondo when the Smokey Mountain was closed in 1995. This depressed community is part of Happy Land, a dump site.
The community has no steady supply of electricity and most of the households rely on sub-meters, jumpers, or generators running for limited hours at night.
With the electrical connections, Estrada said, the families have lights at night instead of using candles that often cause fires.
“Now they can sleep comfortably, and more safely, at night,” he said as he expressed his gratitude to the foundation.
The beneficiaries, he pointed out, will be using Meralco’s Prepaid Service that allows them to monitor, control and save on power expenses through their choice of load denominations.
The Happy Land initiative is part of the foundation’s household electrification program that aims to provide sustainable source of energy in remote communities and resettlement areas.