TAGBILARAN CITY – A municipal lawmaker expressed doubt over the outcome of the provincial government-sponsored Power Summit held last Tuesday as the feared power shortage in the near future looms. The legislator, whose indentity is withheld, posed the question: What is the guarantee that any power investor or company would not suffer the same fate as that of the proposed Cantakoy Hydropower plant in Danao town?
The proponents withdrew the planned Cantakoy hydro power plant, not only for what the oppositors claimed as environmentally dangerous, but also due to alleged political pressures exerted by the present administration of the capitol, he said. Asked if the proponent of Cantakoy hydro power plan invited or attended the said summit, he said in the affirmative but still apprehensive of the move (summit). Some 12 investors in power industry attended the said summit, report said.
Businessmen in Bohol are troubled of the impending insufficiency of electic supply in the near future to power their businesses that would focus mainly on tourism as the New Bohol Airport is said to be constructed in the immediate months this year, the report said. Some of them have started to provide their own power generator sets in the event of the brownout and blackouts. It will be recalled that Bohol plunged into darkness for more than a month following the Leyte geothermal plant and powerlines were badly affected in the aftermath of the super typhoon “Yolanda” that struck Leyte and Samar and other provinces in Nov. 6, 2013.
The entire of Bohol is mainly powered by some 85 megawatts from Leyte Geothermal power plant. Its power sources — three hydro power plants in Sevilla, Loboc and Hanopol, Balilihan can only produce a little over 20 MW, way below of the needed some 60 MW for the entire province as the tourism industry grows.
The Php1.3 billion Cantakoy project, when completed, is expected to generate 5.2 megawatts involving some 530,000 square meters or 53 hectares of land located at Barangay Cabatuan, Danao town, where the Cantakoy Falls belongs.
The project components includes the development and operation of hydro plant with 30-m high water dam as impounding facility, access road to the power plant and 24/69KV step-up transformers in the open air.
But the project’s ECC is amended by EMB in Cebu City that increase the capacity of the hydro plant to eight (8) MW “with geographical coordinates of 124(degrees)09’24.4” east longitude and 09(degrees)58’25.1” north latitude.” The dam is increased to 40 meters high from 30 meters as “small dam” and other facilities thereat, according to project description provided by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in its letter of approval to the ECC as amended.
The proponent is also required to put up additional nursery program of 132,000 tree seedlings aside from the original 530,000 seedlings to support the Green Philippine Master Plan for tree planting and to put up PhP50,000 as Environmental Guarantee Fund (EGF) to pay or use for the environment assessment compensation/indemnification for “whatever” damages caused by the project, rehabilitation/restoration of areas affected and others, said DENR Officer-In-Charge regional director Alan C. Arranguez in his letter to Engr. Dominador Borje, Jr, vice-president of Sta. Clara Power Corp.
The ECC numbered RO7-0903-018-0120 issued on August 11, 2009 by EMB stipulated that “a readily available and replenishable EGF” of PhP50,000 is intended for the following: compensation/indemnification of whatever damages to life and property caused by the project; rehabilitation and/or restoration of areas affected by the project implementation; and decommissioning of the project facilities related to possible negative impacts.
The ECC is issued in compliance with the Presidential Decree No. 1586 and Dept. Administrative Order No. 2003-30. It is contains restrictions and conditions by which the holder must observed and comply. Under this project ECC, included are the following (a) environmental management and monitoring plan (EMMOP); and (b) general provisions, such as compliance with other national laws: Toxic Substance and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990 (RA 6969); The Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 (RA 8749); Ecological Solid Waste Management Program Act of 2000 (RA 9003); and Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 (RA 9275).
The ECC was applied by the Sta. Clara Power Corp. (SCPC) through its vice-president for operation Dominador R. Borje. But now the actual project implementer is the Quadriver Energy Corp., which can claim it is the “owner” of the ECC as approved by then EMB OIC regional director Rolando N, Luego. (rvo)