THE village of Puhagan in Valencia, Negros Oriental has received a brand new truck worth P3.4 million as part of the Energy Regulations 1-94 of the Department of Energy (DOE), a program that compensates communities hosting power generating facilities and energy resources.

Puhagan is among three villages, including Caidiocan and Malaunay, that host the geothermal power plants of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC).

A ceremonial turnover was held Sunday, March 21, in Puhagan for the dump truck, which the village requested for in an annual work plan submitted by its officials last year, said Norreen Bautista, head of EDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility in Negros Island.

Bautista said that under the DOE’s Energy Regulations 1-94, a power generating company like EDC is mandated to provide an amount of one centavo per kilowatt hour of generated power, which is deposited with DOE.

“Every year, each host community can actually avail of that provided they propose an annual work plan and depending on the available budget they can request any project they think is needed in their community,” she said.

It is not a royalty fee but a community fund under the DOE and is only applicable for geothermal projects, Bautista noted.

The dump truck is intended for waste disposal in Barangay Puhagan, she added.

According to Bautista, aside from the three host villages, the municipality of Valencia and the province of Negros Oriental are also qualified under this particular DOE program.

Neighboring towns can also apply for the same provided they can get an endorsement from the host town or host province.

“It is just a matter of creativity and that is why we are trying to tell them that you should avail kay saying man gud dili pod magamit (as it is such a waste if not utilized) when neighboring barangays or towns can tap that fund,” Bautista said.

EDC, the country’s premier geothermal power firm, has a 222.5-megawatt total capacity generated by its power plants in Valencia. (PNA)