BOKOD, Benguet – Ambuklao and Binga Hydroelectric Power Plants owned and operated by SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet, Inc. (SNAP-Benguet) received the “Official Seal of Approval” for consistent environmental excellence from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The citation was given under Track 1 of DENR’s Philippine Environment Partnership Program, which “aimed to support industry self-regulation towards improved environmental performance.” Lawyer Michael C. Hosillos, SNAP-Benguet Vice President For Corporate Affairs, said companies awarded under Track 1 are those that perform “beyond compliance and driven by competitiveness, image and supply chain requirements to improve performance.”
Hosillos explained companies that vied for the citation were evaluated based on zero cases filed with the Pollution Adjudication Board for three years prior to the date of application, full compliance with applicable environmental laws, rules and regulations and proven record of superior environmental performance.
The awarding ceremony was held recently in Quezon City and was led by DENR Undersecretary Atty. Jonas R. Leones who is concurrently the director of the attached agency Environmental Management Bureau. Representing SNAP-Benguet in the ceremony were Chief Finance Officer Eleanor Blomdahl, Chief Technology Officer Kjell Valdal, Plant Manager Emmanuel Lopez, Plant Safety Manager Hollis Fernandez, Safety Officers Jess Palma and Cliff Dailay, Environmental Officer Katrina Teodoro, and Nurse/Health Officer Jason Paneda.
According to Hosillos, both Ambuklao and Binga Hydroelectric Power Plants have ISO-certified environmental management systems (ISO 14001) and are implementing environmental projects under the Corporate Social Responsibility program.
“This citation means a lot to our team. We are proud to be part of an organization that goes beyond compliance in environmental performance,” said SNAP-Benguet Plant Manager Emmanuel Lopez.
Aside from the hydropower firm, other awardees under Track 1 were Nestle Philippines, Inc. (Tanauan Plant), Wyeth Philippines, Inc., Petron Corporation (Ormoc & Tacloban Depots), and Energy Development Corporation (Green Core Geothermal & Mt. Apo Geothermal projects).
SNAP-Benguet owns and operates the 105-megawatt Ambuklao Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEPP) in Bokod and the 125-MW Binga HEPP in Itogon. It is a joint venture between SN Power of Norway and Aboitiz Power.
Hosillos said the company remains committed in the implementation of environment preservation and protection programs in their respective areas of operation and even beyond to ensure the sustainability of the watersheds that continue to give life to the operation of the two power generations plants which were rehabilitated under the new operator.
Gov. Nestor B. Fongwan commended SNAP-Benguet for being able to add another feather on its cap by bagging the prestigious award being offered by the agency.
He charged the company to use the award as an inspiration to greatly contribute in revitalizing the state of the watersheds in the different parts of the province so that the abundant water flowing into the province’s different river systems will increase and contribute to the building of more environmentally-friendly power plants that will also contribute in mitigating the serious negative effects of unscheduled power outages to the country’s robust economic growth.