RDC wants more shares from power production-A A +A
Monday, October 25, 2010
THE Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC) wants a bigger share from the power production of hydroelectric plants.
At present, host communities of power plants are entitled to a share of one centavo per kilowatt-hour from the power produced by the power plants with the same being used to fund the implementation of priority projects of barangays, municipalities and provinces.
Dr. Virgilio Bautista, RDC-CAR private sector representative, cited host communities are now being shortchanged with the meager share from the operation of the power plants and that the law providing for such share is already obsolete.
Bautista said Cordillera congressmen must realize that people in host communities who are protecting the watersheds and forests must be given enough benefits for a job well done, thus, the need for them to initiate the amendment of the law so that the region’s entitlement to the benefits will be improved.
Instead of a fixed one centavo per kilowatt-hour share, Bautista proposed to the congressmen that the sharing scheme should be in percentage so that the benefits accruing to the host communities with the continuous increase in power rates so that more funds will be used to implement their priority projects as well as enhance the delivery of basic health services to the people in the grassroots level.
The RDC-CAR expressed support to the proposal of Bautista, citing the timeliness of the proposal considering that host communities are receiving fixed benefits with the current application of the law even if power rates have consistently increased over the past several years.
Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat, Jr. filed a bill in the House of Representatives to redefine host communities so that it will include the watershed areas of the dams which is the source of water that generates substantial power being infused to the Luzon grid.
Consistent with the RDC-CAR’s bid for watershed preservation and protection, Baguilat explained the inclusion of watershed areas in the definition of host communities for the hydroelectric power plants would help in the efforts to reforest denuded mountains and empower the people to be actively involved rehabilitation and management efforts since they will be able to see that their efforts are being rewarded unlike the current set up.(Dexter See)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 26, 2010.