La Trinidad, Hedcor ink accord for 20mw Sablan hydro project

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government and the management of the HEDCOR, Inc. entered into a 25-year agreement governing the responsibilities of both parties on the put up of the latter’s 20megawatt Sablan 1 hydroelectric power plant project that will transcend the boundaries of Sablan and La Trinidad.

The agreement was signed by Mayor Romeo K. Salda and HEDCOR, Inc. senior vice president Chris Fernando B. Faelnar during the simple signing ceremony held at the municipal hall last Monday.

Under the agreement, HEDCOR is mandated to remit 1 percent of its gross income which will be distributed to the national government that is entitled to get 60 percent and the host communities that are mandated to get the remaining 40 percent.

Further, the allocation of the local government or host communities shall be 20 percent for the host province, 45 percent for the host component city or municipality and 35 percent for the host barangays.

In the case that HEDCOR sells, transfers or disposes of the hydroelectric power plant, the successor-in-interest, transferee or assignee of its rights and obligations under the said agreement shall assume all the rights and obligations provided in the same but in the case that HEDCOR ceases to operate the plant, the agreement shall likewise be automatically terminated upon service of a written notice to the local government at least 30 days before the intended cessation.

Further, HWEDCOR committed to deliver to the local government at least 1 centavo per kilowatthour of the power generated and delivered by the power plant located within the jurisdiction of the municipality within 30 days from the company’s billing date to its customers.

The amount shall be increased by P0.005 perkilowatthour of the power generation every 5 years until the expiration of the agreement.

Based on the agreement, the company shall pay to the local government all the prescribed taxes on business and real property taxes provided in the local revenue code.

HEDCOR is also required to coordinate with the local government for the construction of access roads, performance of maintenance works and repairs on said access roads, road-right-of-way and easements granted by the municipality, the access road, road-right-of-way and easements where the power plant is located, should the same be damaged willfully damaged by the company, its contractors and suppliers.

Moreover, HEDCOR shall extend preference in employment opportunities to bonafide residents of the municipality where its power plants are situated, provided, however that vacancies exist and such residents are qualified, competent and physically fit for the positions applied for pursuant to the employment guidelines of the company.

The agreement stipulated that HEDCOR shall collaborate with the local government in the implementation of its corporate social responsibility projects during the effectivity of the same and it shall also initiate measures to protect and preserve the forest and water resources with the town’s jurisdiction, including the areas relevant to the operation of the power plant, through various initiatives and undertakings, particularly the implementation of watershed management programs.

On the other hand, the local government shall observe, abide and respect the obligations and responsibilities under the agreement with utmost good faith; sustain measures to protect and preserve the forest and water resources within the municipality, including the specific areas relevant to the operation of the hydroelectric power plants, through various initiatives and undertakings.

The local government is also mandated to encourage the maintenance of public assistance and support to the power plants of the company, its affiliates and its subsidiaries, as well as their other plants as may be developed via future expansion located within the municipality.

Further, La Trinidad shall assist in the maintenance of peace and order in the areas in the municipality where the power plants and the related facilities are located.

The municipality shall also assist the company for the timely securing, maintenance and renewal of its relevant local business permits, licenses, authorizations and clearances for the continued operations of its hydroelectric power plants and their related facilities, provided that, the company shall have complied with all material requirements; grant free and unqualified access, road-right-of-way, and easement through its properties to HEDCOR, its contractors, suppliers and such other parties as may from time to time be necessary in maintenance of the plants; and acknowledge, recognize and confirm that the company’s obligation of sharing its income by way of direct benefits pursuant to the agreement is in accordance to existing laws.

The signed agreement will be forwarded to the municipal council for confirmation pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government code of the Philippines.

By HENT

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