D-TEC: Lighting Up the Lives of Underserved People


After a day-long toil in a farm near a fishing community she lives in, Nanay Rosita Rosas gropes around the house for things she needs due to darkness and poor eyesight from to aging.

But in one evening earlier this month a marked change came to her life.  For the first time in her 76 years of existence in the island of Iniwaran in San Pascual, Masbate, the widowed Nanay Rosita was finally able to see brightness filling the hut she has been sharing with her cousin.  This was the time staff of D-TEC Solutions, Inc. a Makati-based social enterprise, came to to visit and to give for free a solar kit that can light up her home and the adjacent hut of her cousin’s daughter.

Nanay Rosita could hardly contain her emotions as she said with swelling tears “Daghan kaayong salamat!" (Thank you so much!).

The hosts’ smiles were no longer concealed by the dim night as Nanay Rosita and her cousin, who had been using dangerous kerosene lamps before, beamingly gazed at the solar lights hanging from their ceiling. 

It mattered a lot for the visiting five-person D-TEC staff to witness how poverty has denied countless people like Nanay Rosita of life’s basic necessities such as clean water and eco-friendly lights.  Three more huts received solar kit installations in the off-grid island and immediately D-TEC staff realized that there is a serious need to intensify change-making efforts to uplift the lot of underserved people like Nanay Rosita.   

“D-TEC, as a social enterprise, is made to recognize that its very existence is grounded on the prevalence of rampant poverty challenges confronting the people,” Dave Balino, D-TEC president and founder, said.

Balino said that in the conception and eventual establishment of D-TEC in 2013, foremost in his mind was “to take the company along the path of social entrepreneurship by making it as a pro-employee one.”  This means, he added, that “employees would be significantly made as one the company’s major stakeholders.”

But along the way, Balino and his D-TEC colleagues have realized that “something more has to be done in order to firm up the mission-driven character of the company.” 

“Which is why, aside from turning the employees into one the enterprise’s major stakeholders, we have made certain that our product and service offerings are most of all adaptive to the needs of the people”  Balino said.

Balino, an electronics engineer by profession, said that “a turning point has happened (in the enterprise) when it has pivoted from simply an automation and auxiliary provider to that of being a pioneer in one-stop and integrated automation, power, water and other innovative technological solutions in the Philippines.”

Characterizing further the purpose-oriented nature of the enterprise is the creation of social programs of D-TEC namely BigFut and Solutions4All, programs “to empower the out-of-school youth through entrepreneurial undertakings and employment” and “to fill the gaps in the country’s social services by providing underserved communities vital solutions to their social problems especially power and water solutions.”

Balino revealed that while a portion of the D-TEC’s profit goes to the Solutions4All program, augmentations of power and water solutions through donations, for instance, are still wanting.   A lot more Nanay Rositas, he said, are “out there waiting for benevolent hands” to reach out to them. 

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