Davao Sur welcomes newest hydro plant
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (8 September) -- Local folks of Barangays Sibulan and Darong in the town of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur welcomed the newest Hedcor Sibulan, Inc (HSI) as it had its groundbreaking activity yesterday.
HSI, the newest baby of the Aboitiz group in the hydropower industry, started the construction of a 42.5-megawatt hydropower source tapping the resources of both Sibulan and Baroring Rivers.
Hedcor Chief Executive Officer Erramon Aboitiz claimed that the project ensures environmental safety as well as economic benefits to the community.
"We have made sure that the project is environment friendly since we designed it as run-of-river hydropower plants. We do not impound water here; we simply maintain a small pond for the power generation. That makes our project good for the environment," he said.
Studies showed that the said hydro plant could produce carbon neutral electricity. Such kind is believed to reduce greenhouse gases. More than 80,000 tons of equivalent carbon dioxide is reduced as the facility could generate electricity from zero-emissions technology.
Indigenous people in the area specifically those from Bagobo-Tagabawa tribes easily accepted the entry of the project as it provided them a number of benefits. On of which is how it contributes a certain amount from its revenues to the said communities.
The agreement stated that the community will get an average of P13 million annually for a period of 12 years from Hedcor.
"We are making sure that everything that is cited in the agreement will all be complied by our company," Aboitiz guaranteed.
Also part of the benefits is the opening and improvement of 44.8 kilometers of road which will supplement farm-to-market roads in those communities. About P250 million is allocated for road improvement alone.
Hedcor has also promised to hire local residents to be part of the construction operations. HSI will employ more than 800 people in the construction stage alone.
Moreover, areas like Sitios Marawer, Tudaya, Darong and Bidaran will also be energized as the company embraced the financing for the supply and erection of required electrical poles and lines to supply these communities with clean energy.
Davao del Sur governor Douglas Cagas claimed that the said project is mutually beneficial for both the company and the community.
"As they are making use of the people's resources, we are also asking them to provide us with economically beneficial projects geared towards the development of the community," he said. (PIA XI) [top]