KIBUNGAN, Benguet September 09 – The Kibungan Kankana-ey Tribe Organization (KIKATRIBO) received an amount of 1.5 million pesos as their initial share for the construction of hydro power plant in their ancestral domain.
In a turn over ceremony last week at La Trinidad, Cordillera Hydro Electric Power Corporation (COHECO) President Jose Xavier B. Gonzales personally handed the check to KIKATRIBO Chairman of the board Albert D. Mayamnes as sincere commitment in the terms and conditions stipulated in the memorandum of agreement signed between the hydro company and the Indigenous people.
Mayamnes in his response expressed his appreciation to the company’s commitment to their MOA.
He said that they will talk with the seven barangays on how to utilize the fund in a manner that it will definitely benefit their communities.
“This advance release will be used for emergency and other purposes, and we will give our support for the realization of the project.” Mayamnes added.
The turnover was witnessed by the National Commission on Indigenous People Benguet officer Nora Ramos and local officials of Kibungan.
Ramos explained that guidelines must be followed before the release of the fund and how to utilize it.
The initial advance share must be equally divided among the seven barangays and the KIKATRIBO will supervise the used of the fund.
Ramos is happy to see the realization and implementation of agreements after the rigid Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) process.
The share is over and above of other social obligations that the power company agreed to infuse in the host communities.
Based on the benefit sharing provision of the MOA, the proponent company, COHECO, shall give to the host IPs a share of its income in the lump sum amount of seven million pesos per year starting on the first year of the project’s commercial operation when the hydro company generates the first kilowatt-hour of energy after two months of testing.
Moreover, COHECO shall give an advance share in the amount of 1.5 million pesos upon the start of the construction of the hydro project and the amount shall be deducted from the share of the IPs that they will received on the first year of operation.
Atty. Jingboy Atonen the legal counsel of COHECO said that Kibungan is the first to receive the amount due to their support to the hydro project.
COHECOwill construct a 60 megawatt run-of-river hydroelectric power project in Kapangan and kibungan, Benguet. Joseph Manzano.
By JOSEPH MANZANO.