Bineng power plants to continue operation

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- After several weeks on a stalemate, Hedcor Incorporated and the Bineng landowners finally reached an agreement.

Hedcor Senior Vice President for Operations Chris Faelnar said the parties finally reached an agreement that will allow its power plants to continue operations.

"We are happy that we reached into an agreement with our landowner in Bineng, La Trinidad. Our series of talks with the landowner had materialized resulting to the signing of the contract of lease last week," Faelnar said.

Faelnar said the Catalino clan has agreed to the original proposal of lease which is pegged at P4.50 per square meter.

"Our commitment to our stakeholders is at the core of our existence. Our talks with the landowner helped us to clarify things," Faelnar added.

The 90 square meter land in Bineng town owned by the Catalino clan almost became a deal breaker when the family decided not to continue with the lease agreement with Hedcor after the family wanted to increase the rental agreement from P4.50 per square meter to P100.

Hedcor planned to shut down its operations should the Catalino clan deny the proposed rental.

Hedcor said the P4.50 per square meter offer is the standard rate it offered to all 26 landowners and it cannot go beyond it.

"Our responsibility to our landowners goes beyond payment of rental fees. We make sure that the properties we are leasing are well protected. We introduce improvements to augment stability of the leased areas," Faelnar added.

The Bineng plants in La Trinidad is comprised of Bineng 1, 2 and 2b which spans 13,945.46 square meters covering 26 individual landowners totaling to P753,030 in annual dues.

At least 17 employees face displacement if the plants shuts down and and an estimated loses of P4.9 million in annual taxes and shares to the barangay, the municipality and the province.

"Our landowners are well compensated from crop damages and damages incurred during the improvement of the leased area base on the existing fair market price. We thank our landowner for supporting us for the past 25 years and for renewing our partnership. We are also glad to our stakeholders who contributed for the resolution of this concern," Faelnar said.
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