Aboitiz-led Hedcor Inc. has secured the nod of the Negros Oriental provincial government to put up its planned 22-megawatt Mabinay-Manjuyod hydropower facility in the province.
Hedcor said it has signed a memorandum of agreement with Negros Oriental provincial governor Roel Degamo and Manjuyod municipal mayor Amor Baldado.
Both Degamo and Baldado said they fully supported the hydropower project as they expressed optimism on how the proposed facility could bring in benefits and economic upliftment to the Negrenses.
According to Hedcor, the agreements signed by the two government officials contained an endorsement of Hedcor’s proposed plant, the company’s first power project in the Visayas.
The agreements also contained the benefits that the host communities would receive from the project, which would include farm-to-market roads, education and employment opportunities, health services and “generation shares.” The generation shares, Hedcor explained, would be given to the host communities once the plant starts commercial operations in 2018. While the Aboitiz subsidiary did not disclose the percentage, it noted that the amount would be above the minimum found in the Energy Regulation 1-94, which mandates power generation firms to remit to the barangays, municipalities, cities, provinces and regions hosting any of its power plants one centavo per kilowatt-hour, representing its share from the gross energy sales of a particular plant.
“In our 35 years in the business, we have continued to bring inclusive growth to our host communities by helping them to grow through sustainable social development programs,” noted Hedcor vice president Boy Jabonillo. Amy R. Remo