Tuba town seeks history of Asin hydro power plants

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- A history of the Asin hydros is being sought by Tuba officials.

In a resolution by the local council, the town is requesting the United States Government, through its American Embassy in the Philippines to provide from its archives, documents pertaining to the construction, operation and administration of the Asin Hydropower Plants.

The resolution was made in response to the request of Provincial Board Member Blas Dalus, President of the Tuba Indigenous Peoples Organization who asked “for the passage of a resolution addressed to the US Embassy in Manila inquiring whether or not the mini hydros were formally turned over or intended for the City Government of Baguio.”

The Asin Hydropower Plants 1,2 and 3 were built, operated and administrated in the 1920’s when the Philippines was then under the administration of the United States Government.

Officials from Tadiangan, Nangalisan, Taloy Norte and Poblacion villages, all in Tuba, said the Asin Hydro Power PLants have ceased operations since 2012 and is still within the territorial jurisdiction of the Tuba town.

In the past, Dalus has opposed requests made by Baguio City to transfer water permits from the Baguio Water District to the City Government of Baguio to change the purpose of the permit from domestic to power generation arguing the move of Baguio City needs a Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC).

The City Government of Baguio took over the operation and maintenance of the mini hydo electrical plants of Asin Plant I and II located in barangay Tadiangan, Nangalisan and Poblacion in 2006.

City officials decided to manage the plants on their own capacity when the management contract between the Baguio Water District and Hedcor expired.

The hydros are all located within the territorial jurisdiction of Tuba, Benguet but being used by the City Government of Baguio. (With a report from Princess Camille Ann Peralta, Mariano Marcos State University Intern)

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