BONTOC, Mountain Province – Various sectors shared their views and insights on the recent attack done by the New People’s Army (NPA) on the tapping point of the 14-megawatt hydropower plant of the Aboitiz-owned Hydroelectric Development Corporation (HEDCOR) Sabangan, Inc. based in barangay Otucan Norte, citing the need for the people to take the chance of pressuring the company to give what is due to the indigenous peoples (IPs) and its host communities.
Sources, who requested anonymity for security reasons, claimed that instead of immediately condemning the NPA attack on the company’s power generation facilities the people should wake up to the reality that the company was able to allegedly work on the provision of minimal royalty to the IPs amidst deriving huge profit from the resources of the people’s ancestral domain.
The sources pointed out the need for the company to realize that it needs to lower its power generation cost for the power it supplies to the Mountain Province Electric Cooperative (MOPRECO) as part of its corporate social responsibility to the people of the province.
The sources emphasized that it is also high time for the IPs to work on the supposed increase of the socio-economic benefits for the people for them to directly and indirectly benefit from the exploitation, utilization and development of the resources which they had preserved and protected over the past several decades.
Earlier, local officials and concerned stakeholders from the different parts of the province vehemently condemned the NPA attack on the HEDCOR Sabangan’s tapping point in Otucan Norte that have significantly affected the image of Mountain Province as peaceful and orderly.
In admitting the attack to the HEDCOR’s tapping point, the NPA’s Leonardo PCSI command based in the province explained that it implemented supposed law enforcement against the company for its various violations which it outlined in its earlier statement.
Further, the NPA disclosed company officials allegedly refused to talk with the concerned unit of the communist rebels regarding such violations and its business operations in the province and Benguet, which resulted to the punitive action.
The sources pointed out that if people will be asked of their opinion on the matter, they will find ways of express the true sentiments of the people regarding the company’s alleged violations that must be corrected at the early stages of its operation so that what will be due to the IPs will be enjoyed by the present and future generations.
HEDCOR Sabangan Inc. started the construction of its 14-megawatt run-of-river project in Barangays Napua and Namatek in Sabangan in 2013 and started the operation of the plants two years later.
The sources expressed confidence that people of the province will be enlightened over the pertinent issues that confront the sustained operation of the company and for whatever benefits due to the IPs will be effectively and efficiently addressed to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future that will significantly affect the stability of law and order province-wide.