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PIA Press Release

800 workers mobilized in P5-B Sibulan hydro project

by Romy Sabaldan

Davao City (12 February) -- CERTAIN economic benefits as a result of the 42.5 megawatt, P5 billion peso current Hedcor hydro project is unquantifiable at the moment but the chief operating officer of the corporation was quick to mention some 800 workers it has already mobilized in the construction phase of the massive groundworks at Sibulan, Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur located some 40 kilometers from Davao City.

Rene B Ronquillo, President and Chief Operating Officer of Hedcor, Inc. bared this Monday in an interview with the Philippine Information Agency as he downgraded any major disruption of the project said to be one of the largest investments in hydropower generation business of the Aboitiz group.

He said when the Sibulan Hydropower Project becomes operational, electrical engineers and other skilled labor will also be employed to man the hydroelectric plants.

The project is expected to generate 212 gigawatt-hours annually to be distributed in a power sales agreement with the Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC) in answer to the impending power shortage in the future.

Accompanied by Sta. Cruz Mayor Joel Rey Lopez to the regular Davao Press Club forum of SM Mall Davao, Ronquillo expressed confidence of completing the project with the support of the community.

Mayor Lopez, for his part, said except for some unidentified groups complaining about the project, its implementation will go on uninterrupted. The project started in June 2007 and has set target completion date in August 2009.

The Sta. Cruz Mayor does not even see a disruption from the NPA in the offing saying that "Governor Douglas Cagas and I have been doing a localize peace talks which had made Sta. Cruz and the whole of Davao del Sur a peaceful place to invest."

Lopez described the presence of a military detachment in the area as routine security to keep the peace. He said they have not even requested the military to be there. They have been there all along.

Once a hotbed of the insurgency thirty years ago, Lopez said there has been no encounter in the area for a long time.

"Still the best offense is defense," the Hedcor top official quipped emphasizing on the company's own protective measures of mitigating certain negative aspects of the project emphasizing on a solid mass-base support in and around the communities where they operate. (PIA XI) [top]

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