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32 young leaders in Negros Island learned how geothermal energy can help them and the rest of the country have a sustainable future in Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) BINHI Youth Camp in Valencia, Negros Oriental, last October 24-26, 2018.
Now on its 5th year, the BINHI Youth Camp-Negros (BYC-Negros) is a three-day boot-camp on geothermal energy and BINHI forest restoration that aims to instill pride among the participants for the abundance of geothermal energy in the island.
“Geothermal energy is the Holy Grail among renewable energy (RE) technologies because it is the only form of RE that can provide base load power all year round, whatever the season is,” said Engr., Vicente D. Omandam, Jr., Senior Manager and head of EDC’s Reservoir and Project Management Division. “And the good news is, we have lots of it here in Negros.”
This year, 13 delegates from Negros Oriental State University, Saint Paul University Dumaguete, Foundation University, STI-Dumaguete, Asian College of Science and Technology, and Silliman University in Negros Oriental joined the camp. 19 students from Southland College-Kabankalan, University of Negros Occidental Recoletos, University of St. La Salle, Bago City College, Bacolod City College, La Consolacion College – Bacolod, Visayan Maritime Academy Global College, Colegio San Agustin – Bacolod, John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation-Bacolod, STI-West Negros University, and Technological University of the Philippines-Visayas from Negros Occidental immersed at the boot-camp.
Championing geothermal energy
Throughout the camp, the participants’ inquisitive minds stirred numerous complex questions. The youth leaders expressed keen interest in learning how geothermal energy works and how planting trees helps in sustaining this form of clean, renewable energy.
The talk on mobilizing the youth through social media taught the participants that they have a voice and they should use it to spread correct and reliable information on various topics. The youth leaders vowed to be responsible social influencers by using their social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote credible information online.
On the second day of the camp, the participants applied what they learned about EDC’s BINHI greening legacy as they planted Red Lauan, White Lauan, Almaciga, Katmon, Almon, Yakal, Bagtikan, Mangkono, Nato, and Malabayabas seedlings, which are all a part of EDC’s 96 flagship native tree species under its BINHI Tree for the Future.
A tour of the company’s 112.5-megawatt Palinpinon-1 geothermal power plant enabled the participants to see how geothermal energy provides clean, renewable, uninterrupted power source to Negros and its neighboring provinces. There, they learned why geothermal energy is 24/7 and how EDC sustains its resources.
EDC’s disaster and crisis team head, Dr. Ted Esguerra of the Mt. Everest Team, also gave the campers tips on how to prevent disasters and accidents, and more so, how to deal with them in case they happen.
The camp culminated with an experiential learning activity called “Amazing BINHI Race,” where participants applied everything they learned. The camp was capped off with a graduation ceremony for the new Binhi Youth Champions.
The BYC was conducted by EDC employee-volunteers and its BINHI Youth Champions from the 2014-2017 batches who continue to support the company in all its BINHI efforts and its Community Partnership projects.
“We’re even more excited to come back as facilitators this year because it is our turn to guide new campers and tell them why we advocate for Geo 24/7 and BINHI,” said Zecariah Chito Jumawan, a BINHI Youth Champion from the first batch in 2014.
Full event coverage was done by its social media partner, Positive Energy Negros. Photos of the event may be viewed in their official Facebook page.
EDC is the world’s largest vertically integrated geothermal company and the only diversified renewable energy firm in the country. The company has been supplying clean, renewable, reliable geothermal energy to Negros Island and the rest of the Visayas region for over 35 years.