SABANGAN, Mountain Province – A cause-oriented group revealed that the operation of the 14.2-megawatt hydro power plant by the Aboitiz-owned Hydroelectric Development Corporation (HEDCOR) Sabangan Inc. was never beneficial to the people of the whole province even during emergency situations like the previous onslaught of Supertyphoon Lawin in 2016 and the recent wrath of Tropical Cyclone Ompong.
Sources from the Napua Sabangan United Guides Association Inc. (NSUGAI), who requested anonymity for security reasons, claimed that when Supertyphoon Lawin struck the Cordillera, Mountain Province suffered power outages that lasted for two weeks and in the recent wrath of Tropical Storm Ompong, the people of the province are still suffering from prolonged power outages amidst hosting the operation of a renewable energy plant that is supposed to provide the people their requirements for emergency power for at least a certain period of time while rehabilitation of power lines are being done.
The NSUGAI questioned previous provincial and municipal officials on how come the people of Mountain Province were the least priority in terms of being provided power by HEDCOR when the company’s plant is situated right in the jurisdiction of the province.
Based on data obtained from the Mountain Province Electric Cooperative (MOPRECO), the monthly power consumption of the whole province ranges from 4 to 5 megawatts which is thrice lesser than the total power output of the HEDCOR Sabangan power plant.
“We cannot understand why HEDCOR Sabangan continues to deprive the people of the province continuous power supply before, during and after the onslaught of natural calamities when its plant is fully operational and generating sufficient supply of power for the people. We are made to understand that the province’s rich water resource is simply being used to provide the power supply of other areas instead of the people of the province first enjoying the benefits of the exploitation, development and utilization of its resources,” the source stressed.
According to the sources, HEDCOR Sabangan should be obliged to provide the emergency power requirements of the people of the province being host to its 14.2-megawatt hydro power plant instead of the company reaping millions worth of income from selling power outside the province while the people in its host communities are suffering from prolonged power outages due to the damages sustained by transmission and distribution lines during the wrath of the weather disturbance last weekend.
If there are people who are supposed to be provided energy by HEDCOR Sabangan, the sources emphasized that it should be the people of Sabangan and the whole Mountain Province before the company will sell its excess power produce to potential buyers outside the province, thus, something drastic must be done by both the concerned provincial and municipal officials to correct the defects of the previous agreements so that it will be the people of Mountain Province that will benefit from the operation of the only hydropower plant in the province.
The sources enticed people from other municipalities of the province to outrightly reject the pending applications of HEDCOR covering other river systems because people living in the host and neighboring communities of their power plants are the last to benefit from their multi-million income derived from their operations, thus, the company will just ravage the province’s water resources for profit.
However, energy experts explained that the renewable power being produced by the hydro power plants are being directly connected to the grid and it is the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) that blends the same will fossil fuel and distributes the power to the distribution utilities.
HEDCOR Sabangan Inc. cannot be reached for comment on the matter as of press time.
From the power generation plants, power produced will be connected to the grid wherein it will be the NGCP that apportions the power to the different distribution companies whose distribution lines are in order.