Estero de Paco folk emerge from the darkBy Jaymee T. Gamil
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A community along Estero de Paco in Manila became the first residential area to bask in the glow of LED or light-emitting diode lights under a rehabilitation program for the Pasig River tributary.
The lighting project was in line with the Kapit-Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig project spearheaded by ABS-CBN Foundation, which earlier undertook a cleanup and beautification campaign in the area from Quirino Avenue to Pedro Gil.
Through the foundation’s initiatives, the 500-meter easement along the estero has been transformed into a spacious promenade. The water is much cleaner and flowing again, after being polluted and choked with garbage for years.
Nine LED lampposts were ceremonially switched on in rites led by Mayor Alfredo Lim on Tuesday night, and finally illuminated a stretch of the estero which had been shrouded in “total darkness” since time immemorial, according to the city’s chief electrical engineer, Ernesto Cuyugan.
Each lamppost comes with two 120-watt LED bulbs, which Cuyugan said consume 50- to 80-percent less electricity compared to regular light bulbs.
Last month, a row of LED lights was installed on Roxas Boulevard to replace those damaged by typhoons last year, he reported.
Each LED light costs about P29,500, Cuyugan said, more expensive than the regular light bulbs earlier procured by the city government at P15,000 each.
But he stressed that power consumption would be significantly lower since the old bulbs had a higher wattage of 300 each, and that the city would have bigger savings with the long-term use of LED lights.
“For ordinary streetlights, the maintenance warranties are for only one year. These new ones have five-year warranties. The burning hours for ordinary lights last three to five years, while the newly installed bulbs can last for seven to 10 years,” Cuyugan added.
Cuyugan said up next for LED installation are the areas along the Manila tourist belt such as A. Mabini, M.H. del Pilar, Tayuman, Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard, C.M. Recto Avenue, and Juan Luna.
Lim earlier facilitated the purchase of energy-saving LED lights from Korea after the Commission on Audit noted a 40-percent increase in the city’s electricity bills in 2010.