MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/03 December) – The Bukidnon Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution Thursday endorsing the 28.2-megawatt hydroelectric power project of Hedcor Bukidnon Inc. in barangays Sinuda and Kipilas in Kitaotao town, along the province’s boundary with Davao City.
Roelito Gawilan, who represents the Federation of the Association of Barangay Councils in the board, sponsored the resolution, which was unanimously passed on third and final reading.
The Aboitiz subsidiary firm will install a run of river hydropower plant, and will tap water from the Sita and Simod Rivers, Gawilan said in his draft of the resolution.
Officials of Hedcor appeared at the provincial board earlier this year to ask for its endorsement of the project.
Gawilan said the firm will enter into a memorandum of agreement with the provincial government in compliance with the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act and the Local Government Code.
Gawilan, who also chairs the Federation of the Manobo Matigasalug Tribal Councils (Femmatrics) which earlier endorsed the project assured that the firm will comply with power allocation and remittance requirements from the Department of Energy.
The resolution said Hedcor shall “likewise undertake to remit 1 percent of its gross income to the province, to Kitaotao town, and the villages of Kipilas and Sinuda.”
Gawilan told MindaNews the provincial board’s endorsement was the last the firm had to obtain before its project may go full swing.
Documents emailed by Hedcor to MindaNews showed that on October 10 last year, Femmatrics had asked Hedcor to realize the project, in a resolution passed unanimously and signed by the group’s former secretary general Datu Cosme Lambayon.
Hedcor’s project sits within Femmatrics’ Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title covering 102,324 hectares.
Barangays Kipilas and Sinuda separately endorsed the project on January 14, 2011 and on June 2, 2001, respectively.
The Sangguniang Bayan of Kitaotao endorsed the project on June 29, 2011.
The Aboitiz Power Corporation announced in February this year it will open the two run of river hydropower plants in 2013. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)