by Arturo Tahup

Tacloban City’s earthquake drill yesterday (21 June 2018) was powered by the sun, thanks to a team of humanitarian responders with portable solar-powered equipment.

Two radio base stations used during the drill were powered by a TekPak, a portable solar suitcase developed by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), and a Solevolt solar generator by the ICSC-organized RE-Serve Humanitarian Corps.

It was the first time the Corps participated in a Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill in Tacloban City, which was held this quarter at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Cabaluan. The drill was spearheaded by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Eastern Visayas, in partnership with the Tacloban City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and other groups.

We at ICSC believe that access to reliable energy should always be the priority in disaster preparedness and response. This is why we participated in the drill, and why we have established the RE-Serve Humanitarian Corps in the first place.

Some of the Corps hailed from our latest training on community-based disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response just last June 7 to 9. We trained over 25 new responders from Yolanda survivor communities, women’s organizations, other civil society groups, the Eastern Visayas State University electrical engineering department, and the disaster risk reduction and management offices from Tacloban City, Leyte; Marabut, Samar; and Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

Through the RE-Serve Humanitarian Corps, we are developing renewable energy humanitarian responders who can address the energy needs of humanitarian actors, government responders, and affected communities in times of disasters.


Arturo Tahup is the coordinator of RE-Charge Pilipinas, an ICSC project based in Tacloban City which works at the convergence of disaster risk reduction, renewable energy, and low carbon development.

The project’s RE-Serve Humanitarian Corps and TekPaks initiative is supported by the TUKLAS Innovation Lab, a community-centered innovation project that seeks to find homegrown solutions on disaster risk reduction and management.