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PIA Press Release

SN Aboitiz Power provides assistance to host communities

Baguio City (28 February) -- Aiming to improve the economic activity of the communities surrounding the two hydroelectric dams in Benguet, the SN Aboitiz Power Inc. recently conducted a livelihood seminar on camote (sweet potato) food processing for the Daclan residents in Bokod which is the host community for Ambuclao Dam. It also turned-over P500,000 fund for Barangay Tinongdan's various projects as host community of the Binga Dam in Itogon.

An ambulance was also provided to barangay Ambuclao and the construction of tramlines for an easier transport of products from the farm to the main road.

Aside from these assistance, Corporate Communications Officer Mike Hosillos said the company also allotted P300,000 seed capital for the Botika Agnanayon project of established Municipal Senior Citizen Federation. Municipalities initially benefited by the support fund include Atok, Buguias, Kabayan, Kibungan, Bakun and Mankayan. These Local Government Units (LGUs) will get P50T each.

Hosillos informed these various programs and projects are under the company's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). He explained the CSR fund is made available to projects proposed by host communities and endorsed by the LGU councils.

To qualify for the CSR funding, community projects must correspond with the key result areas of SNAP-Benguet such as livelihood and eco-tourism, education and information technology, health, environmental protection, social infrastructure, indigenous peoples and governance, Hosillos explained.

Aboitiz also plans to subsidize the power being utilized by the households within the host communities through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the officials in the locality.

The monetary assistance will be based on the current amount being paid by each household. With this project we can help them save an amount which they can use for other needs of their family, Hosillos said.

Meanwhile, Hosillos reported that the rehabilitation of the Ambuclao Dam is in full swing. This is being implemented by Norwegian company headed by Rolf Baaserud. This started December last year covering the civil works which include the rehab of intake area, plugging of leaks, construction of alternative tunnels, and elevation of the dam spillway. The rehab is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

He said the project has already generated employment to the host communities without displacement of the current workers of the dam, and is expected to generate more opportunities as it progress.

The eventual full operation of the Ambuclao plant will again allow the host communities to collect national wealth tax (NWT) and also enjoy the benefits to host communities (ER 1-94) which have ceased due to non-operation of the plant, Hosillios added. (fnm/PIA-CAR) [top]

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