Public school principal invents energy sufficient system, garners international award

William Moraca, a school head at the Datal Salvan Elementary School in San Jose, General Santos City, has won an international award for his contributions not only to the school but also to the Blaan and T’boli indigenous communities where his students belong.

Known for being an avid supporter of educational development, Thailand Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has provided opportunities for the underprivileged youth in far-flung areas by means of education. To honor such cause, the Princess Maha Chakri Award (PMCA) gives recognition to 11 dedicated teachers in Southeast Asia whose outstanding achievements generate benefits to education and human development. Moraca received the PMCA for the Philippines during its awarding ceremony last October 2, 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand during Her Royal Highness’ 60th birthday.

His inventions—a functional portable windmill, modified solar panels and a magnetic field-run water system—have been providing 24/7 electricity and potable water to the residents of Sitios Datal Salvan and Klolang since 2011.

“Noong una akong na-assign dito, nakita ko na walang tubig at ang hirap kumuha ng tubig doon sa batis at sa sapa. Maglalakad ka pa ng ilang kilometro para mag-igib ka lamang ng tubig, kaya ang ginawa ko pinaakyat ko dito ang tubig– from river down to the community and, eventually, the schools. I did this by using magnetic field force, so the water went up at the rate of 1.2 liters per second the first time we used the said gadget.” Moraca recalled. 

With a background in Electronics, Moraca also observed that the community’s solar panel for electricity could not adequately charge batteries.

“The natural charging of a solar panel will take about a day for a full battery. I converted the solar panel for shorter charging time. Kasi dito sa lugar namin, ilang oras lang yung init at ito yung nagsu-supply ng lights namin dito sa entire school of Datal Salvan and its community,” said Moraca.

The Department of Education (DepEd) lauded not only the beneficial contribution of Moraca but also his exemplary service as a teacher and a school head.  Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs Alberto T. Muyot said that Moraca innovated and converted low cost materials for hands-on and participative teaching materials for Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. He also developed an ecotourism area which provides livelihood in the community of Sitio Datal Salvan.

“He received numerous commendations for improvising and developing other materials not only for his school but also for other schools in General Santos City. For his selfless acts in public service using education as his platform, the Department feels that William is truly deserving of this award,” added Muyot.

“We thank Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for inspiring our nation-builders in Southeast Asia. We feel that this award embodies the victories of the human spirit in the continuing quest for the improvement of the quality of life of the people through education. We also thank Her Royal Highness for recognizing teachers who have inspired their communities and have initiated positive changes in the communities and in the country,” said Muyot.

From his humble beginnings as an office messenger, Moraca wishes that his achievements would serve as an inspiration to teachers nationwide.

“Hindi ako pumapasok sa school para manalo ng ganitong klaseng award. Ang nasa isip ko lang talaga ay makatulong sa mga studyante at sa buong community dito sa Datal Salvan. Gagamitin ko ang pagkakataon na ito para maging ehemplo at para ma-inspire ko rin ang lahat ng mga guro sa Pilipinas na gumawa ng kakaiba o gumawa ng panibagong hakbang para sa kanilang komunidad,” Moraca said.

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