BAGUIO CITY – The city government will reach out to Tuba municipal officials in order to thresh out possible solutions to the issues and concerns regarding the revival of the operation of the city-owned Asin minihydro power plants which are located within the nearby municipality.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan scheduled several meetings between city and Tuba officials previously but such meetings never pushed through because of conflicting schedules.
“We have to continue dialoguing with Tuba officials for us to be able to come out with possible win-win solutions to the current issues and concerns surrounding the revival of the operation of the Asin minihydro power plants. We have to listen to them and we will discuss the issues for us to be able to come out with solutions in the end,” Domogan stressed.
Earlier, the Tuba municipal council passed Resolution No. 34, series of 2016 supporting the opposition of the affected communities to the transfer of water permits from the Baguio Water District (BWD) to the City of Baguio and the intended revival of the operation of the Asin hydro power plants and urging the Department of Energy (DOE) not to issue any permit to the City of Baguio, or to any entity for the renewed operation of the Asin hydro power plants located within Tuba, and to cancel the minihydro operating contract granted to HEDCOR Inc. for the Asin power plants.
It can be recalled that the city government bidded out the privatization of the Asin minihydro power plants and the same was awarded to Kaltimex Energy Philippines but the contract for the eventual operation of the power plants is still pending confirmation before the city council.
The local chief executive cited he will continue to initiate the upcoming dialogue between city and municipal officials in the coming weeks so that issues and concerns being raised against the renewed operation of the city-owned power plants will be immediately addressed to prevent future complications on the matters raised by Tuba officials once the power plants will start their operations after the confirmation of the contract.
The city-owned three Asin minihydro power plants are situated in barangays Tadiangan and Nangalisan in Tuba.
HEDCOR assumed the operation of the Asin minihydro power plants by virtue of a reported sub-contract agreement between the Aboitiz-owned Davao Lights and the former.
In 1981, Davao Lights entered into an agreement with the Baguio Water District (BWD) to operate and maintain the Asin minihydro power plants but the same expired in 2006.
The city government then took over of the operation and maintenance of the Asin minihydro power plants but the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) ordered the local government to cease and desist from operating the power plants because it did not possess the required certificate of compliance from the regulatory body to operate the said power plants.
It was learned that the minihydro operating contract granted to HEDCOR will expire on May 20, 2018.
By Dexter A. See