Capitol to seek deal with power sector

SunStar file photo

THE Cebu Provincial Government wants to enter into an agreement with energy facilities so it could have direct access to its shares from total electricity sales.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 that her administration will follow the initiative of Therma Visayas Inc. (TVI) officials, who would like the Province to get its shares.

“Sa atong mga power plants diri, sila ang nagdali nga mobayad nato. Ang uban, wa pa magpakita (Of all the power plants in the province, they are the first to manifest intent to give us our shares. The others have yet to meet with us),” she said.

In its regular session last Monday, Oct. 21, the Provincial Board (PB) passed a resolution authorizing the governor to sign and execute, for and in behalf of the Province, the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with TVI.

The resolution was sponsored by PB Member John Ismael Borgonia (third district), who heads the committee on environment conservation and natural resources.

“I had always objected to this because under the law, this should be automatic. We had to ask for what is rightfully ours. With our MOA with TVI, our shares will directly go to our trust account that will be opened by the provincial treasurer,” Garcia said.

The governor and officials of TVI are set to sign the MOA on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.

Garcia urged other power producers, including Kepco SPC Power Corp. in Naga City and Global Business Power in Toledo City, to prepare their MOA.

During their first courtesy call on the governor, TVI representatives showed to Garcia the new circular issued by the Department of Energy.

The TVI officials provided Garcia a format of the MOA during the meeting.

On Aug. 7, 2018, the DOE issued Circular 2018-08-0021, which amends the implementing rules and regulations of Rule 29 (a) of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001. It aims to accelerate socio-economic development, to have a more effective and efficient utilization of the funds, and to enforce the immediate provision of benefits to host communities.

Section 6 of the circular states that the financial benefit shall be allocated in the following manner: 25 percent of one-centavo per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for Development and Livelihood Fund (DLF); and 25 percent of P0.0025/kWh for reforestation, watershed management, health and or environment enhancement fund (RWMHEEF).

The DLF and RWMHEEF shall be allocated in the following manner: community and people affected (five percent), host barangays (20 percent), host municipalities or cities (35 percent), host provinces (30 percent), host ICCs/IPs (five percent), and host region (five percent).

The circular follows Section 5(i) of Republic Act 7638 (Department of Energy Act of 1992). The law mandates the DOE to devise ways and means of giving direct benefits to the province, city, or municipality, especially the community and people affected and equitable and preferential to the region that hosts the energy resource and or energy-generating facility.

TVI is a joint venture of Aboitiz Power Corp. and Vivant Corp. It operates a 340-megawatt (MW) baseload power plant in Barangay Bato, Toledo City. (RTF)


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