the STS philippines History

The Foundation for Rural Electrification for Economic Development (FREED) was founded in 1999 when then-Energy Secretary Mario Tiaoqui invited a small group of industry players to establish an organization that would help supplement the government's initiatives in providing electricity for the rural areas of the Philippines. Among its board members were Johnny Santos, Oscar Reyes, Peter Gamuncho, Lito Sibayan, Nick Jacob, Gabby Singson, Polly Nazareno, and Roy Navarro.

FREED employed the support of major corporations, such as Credit Suisse and Neslte, to sponsor electrification of a beneficiary barangay. It implemented its programs on its own or in partnership with its corporate and community partners, but always with the goal of balancing capacity with the sustainability of project sites.

In 2011, then-Energy Secretary Vince Perez sought to revamp the operations of FREED. It was given new life as Stiftung Solarenergie Philippines, the Philippine chapter of the Stiftung Solarenergie Network for Rural Development with Jim Ayala serving as chairman.

The thrust of rural electrification remained core to its mission but given greater focus on renewable energy, as the foundation renewed its commitment to addressing the challenge of energy poverty in off-grid rural communities.