Hedcor ready to address concerns

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Friday, July 25, 2014


HEDCOR Inc. continues to work for the community in Sabangan, Mt. Province to address complaints regarding the construction of its 14 megawatts (MW) hydropower plant project.

"Hindi namin pinababayaan ang aming host communities," said Liaison officer Elena Salita said.

Salita said Hedcor is willing to convene and settle issues with community members complaining about damages caused by the construction and extension of access roads but said monetary demand is a different thing.

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"Kung may restoration works siyempre tututukan natin but we will not pay them," she stressed citing the P55M demand of the Napua Sabangan Tour Guides Association Inc. which filed a temporary restraining order with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples alleging the company’s conduct of the Free Prior and Informed Consent was flawed.

But Salita maintained they have undergone the necessary procedures for the construction works in the area including securing an Environmental Compliance Certificate, tree cutting permit and the FPIC where host communities barangays Napua and Namatec were involved.

She added there was a resolution from the barangays requesting for access roads and extension of the community roads to be used as "farm to market roads".

Salita admitted damages are inevitable in the construction areas. This as she assured mitigating measures and necessary restoration works will be performed.

"Yung laging lumalabas parang si Hedcor madaming nadestruct na para bang wala kaming ginagawa sa area," she expressed.

"The development is a continuous work, not just now," she highlighted adding, "The continuity of the development of the area, the restoration works, andun siya.”

Currently, mitigating measures such as grouted and gabion riprapping and drainage systems are being implemented within the host communities where landowners and local contractors are given the opportunity to manage their own lands.

Even land deposits from disposal areas may be used by the residents should they wish to use them in any way that will benefit them.

On another note, Salita cleared allegations around 3,000 trees were cut to give way to the construction of the hydro project are untrue saying only 378 trees were compromised following what was indicated in their tree cutting permit.

The 14MW hydro project is expected to give an annual average monetary share at P2,544,038 to the barangay, municipal, provincial and national government and an annual average of P2,128,847 from barangay to the national community including the indigenous peoples.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 26, 2014.

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