THE Aboitiz Power Corporation’s fund remittances to its host communities have reached P508.2 million to date, highlighting the organization’s commitment to supporting its stakeholders and helping the country recover from the impact of COVID-19.
Through the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Regulations 1-94 (ER 1-94) program, AboitizPower and its partners have directly downloaded P148.2 million to 174 host beneficiaries across the country, with around P34 million still awaiting turnover.
Meanwhile, another P359.97 million from various AboitizPower-led generation companies, accumulated as of 2019, has already been remitted by the DOE to the host beneficiaries.
“We are glad that these funds are now with our communities as these will ensure they have the resources to fund crucial projects in their areas. Recent developments have also allowed them to use these remittances specifically to bolster their campaign against COVID-19,” AboitizPower President and CEO Emmanuel V. Rubio said.
The ER 1-94 Program is a policy under the DOE Act of 1992 and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), which stipulates that host communities will get a share of one centavo for every kilowatt-hour (P0.01/kWh) generated by power plants operating in its area.
The fund can be used by host beneficiaries for the electrification of areas or households that have no access to power, development and livelihood programs, as well as reforestation, watershed management, health, and environmental enhancement initiatives.
“Given the severity of the COVID-19 crisis, we at the DOE came up with the necessary circular that would enable host LGUs to use their available ER 1-94 funds to augment their COVID-19 response funding. We are pleased to learn that our vision is being fully realized. Malayo ang nararating ng bawat tulong sa panahon nitong pandemya (Every help goes a long way during this pandemic),” DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said.
With the new circular covering ER 1-94 funds, host LGUs can now use these shares to help manage the effects of the new virus, in accordance with the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. This includes the facilitation of mass testing by providing and constructing facilities, as well as acquiring proper medical testing kits.
“More than the fact that this is the obligation of power generation companies to its host communities, this is a manifestation of our commitment to supporting our partners in any way we can, especially during these challenging times,” Rubio added.
AboitizPower subsidiaries Therma South, Inc. (TSI) and Hedcor were the latest to remit to their host communities, with about P26 million already downloaded to Davao City alone. Around P36 million has also been remitted by TSI and DOE to other various local governments in the Davao region.
These financial benefits have funded several projects across AboitizPower’s host communities, including COVID-19 initiatives in some cities and municipalities, which AboitizPower and its partner local government units work closely on to identify and implement.
The LGUs of Navotas in Metro Manila, Maco in Davao de Oro, and Nasipit in Agusan del Norte recently turned over relief goods to over 7,600 households in their respective communities through funds from the AboitizPower Oil Business Unit.
AboitizPower’s solar and geothermal units have also helped LGUs in Albay, Batangas, Laguna, and Negros Occidental build holding areas and distribution centers, provide medical and PPE supplies to frontline workers, decontaminate facilities, and distribute relief goods to feed low-income households during the quarantine period.| – BNN