BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domgan urged the management of Kaltimex Energy Philippines to start complying with its contractual obligations for the rehabilitation of the city-owned Asin minihydro power plants to maximize the income-generating potentials of the power plants that were not operational over the past four years.
The local chief executive said the local government already sent the resolution approved by the local legislative body confirming the memorandum of agreement entered between the city and Kaltimex and the subsequent notice to proceed to the hydro developer for it to start complying with its obligations under the agreement.
“We have to remind the developer to already start complying with its obligations under our agreement. We have to compel it to start working for the rehabilitation of the hydropower plants,” Domogan stressed.
He admitted having received a letter from Kaltimex insinuating the need for the local government and the company to go back to the drawing board and discuss pertinent issues that cropped up over the past several years while it was working on the details of the rehabilitation of the hydropower plants when its contract was pending before the local legislative body.
According to him, it is important for the company to start complying with the obligations enshrined in the contract, particularly the payment of the P18 million performance bond, and start working on the proposed rehabilitation of the power plants for them to be operational in the next three years or so.
Domogan warned the members of the local legislative body in rushing their desired withdrawal of their resolution confirming the Kaltimex agreement because the company is allegedly trying to find ways on how to decently move out from the contract.
The local government bid out the privatization of the Asin mini-hydropower plants sometime in 2014 and the contract was executed between the city and Kaltimex in 2015 and that the agreement was subsequently transmitted to the local legislative body for confirmation.
However, it took the local legislative body more than two years to confirm the agreement until such time that Kaltimex insinuated its desire to seek help from the local government to solve the social, legal and other issues that have cropped up during the due diligence check on the project.
Domogan asserted it is important for the company to start working on the project before it can seek for available remedies to compel the local government to assist the company in finding the necessary solutions to the problems that were identified in the course of the investigation conducted for the purpose.
He explained in relation to the claims of the landowners on the alleged unpaid rentals of their properties, the local legislative body already approved the resolution waiving the city’s counterclaim over the accumulated rentals of their properties pursuant to an earlier compromise agreement that will ensure that they will receive the P2.7 million accumulated lease rentals for their properties affected by the operation of the Asin hydropower plants.
He said the local government will try to work on solutions to other issues through consultations with Tuba municipal officials and provincial officials of Benguet in the coming weeks. By Dexter A. See