UPON approval of the city’s legislative team, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong can now negotiate with the Department of Energy to operate the Asin Hydroelectric plants.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda, chair for the committee on laws, human rights and justice filed a resolution authorizing Magalong to negotiate and enter into contracts with the DOE for the renewable energy contract of the Asin hydros.
“Mayor Benjamin Magalong has expressed the urgency of reactivating the said power plants and has initiated the process of applying for a special permit to operate the Asin Hydro plants,” Tabanda said.
The Asin mini hydropower Plants 1,2 and 3 were built, operated and administrated in the 1920’s when the Philippines was under the administration of the United States Government.
“The City Government of Baguio is the lawful owner of a series of hydroelectric power plants which are located at Barangay Tadiangan, Tuba Benguet which are non-operational due to the lack of a special permit from the DOE,” Tabanda added.
“The hydroelectric plants were operated and managed by the City Government of Baguio for several years which yielded additional income for the city,” he said.
In 2015, the local government signed a contract with Kaltimex for the rehabilitation and operation of the city-owned Asin mini hydro power plants but the contract was only confirmed by the local legislative body in 2017 or over a year since the signing of the same.
The local government took over the operation of the Asin mini hydro power plants in 2006 but the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) issued a cease and desist order against the city in October 2012 that resulted to the stoppage of the operation of the power plants since the local government was not able to secure a certificate of compliance from the regulating agency.
Recently, the Benguet Electric Cooperative has signified its interest to undertake the rehabilitation of the Asin mini hydropower plants.