Bakun’s hydro firm seeks DILG opinion

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Hedcor, AboitizPower’s hydropower arm, has sought guidance from the Department of Interior and Local Government-Cordillera Administrative Region (DILG-CAR) on its 2021 business permit renewal in the municipality of Bakun in Benguet.

This is after the municipality’s refusal to accept and process Hedcor’s business permit renewal application in light of the ongoing negotiations for a new MOA for additional voluntary shares.

In their response, DILG-CAR said that, “The issuance of licenses or permits shall only be pursuant to law or ordinance and the municipal mayor is bereft of the authority to impose additional conditions on the issuance, renewal, or continued validity of a business permit other than what the law and/or ordinance provides.”

In a further letter sent to Hedcor and the municipality, DILG-CAR reiterated that, “Our stand that the execution of the MOA should not be made a requirement for the issuance of Barangay Clearance and the 2021 business permit since Republic Act No. 11032, otherwise known as the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018”, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) are clear that such is NOT A LEGAL REQUIREMENT as it is limited to those provided in the Local Government Unit’s Citizen’s Charter and the DILG-DTI-DICT Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 01, Series of 2016 re Revised Standards in Processing Business Permits and Licenses in all Cities and Municipalities.

In addition, DILG-CAR stated that, “Insofar as the issuance of the barangay clearance is concerned, again, we find no legal basis for requiring the execution of the MOA as a prerequisite for the issuance of such clearance. There being none, the barangay has no authority to require more than what the law, its Citizen’s Charter, or its ordinance provides.”

With this guidance from the DILG, Hedcor hopes that the municipality of Bakun will proceed with the processing of the renewal of its permits, while it continues its dialogues for a new MOA to provide additional voluntary shares to support the Municipality and community of Bakun.

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