MINERVA BC NEWMAN
CEBU CITY—More than P508.2 million to date of fund remittances from the Aboitiz Power Corporation has been remitted to its various host communities throughout the country under the Department of Energy (DOE)- Energy Regulations 1-94 program.
According to Aboitiz Power president and CEO Emmanuel Rubio that the corporation and its partners have directly downloaded P148.2 million to 174 host beneficiaries across the country, with around P34 million still awaiting turnover.
Rubio said that another P359.97 million from various AboitizPower-led generation companies, accumulated as of 2019 had already been remitted by the DOE to the host beneficiaries.
“We are glad that these funds are now with our communities to 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,” Rubio added.
DOE secretary Alfonso Cusi said that every help goes a long way during this pandemic. “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,” Cusi added.
The ER 1-94 Program is a policy under the DOE Act of 1992 and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) that stipulated 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.
According to Cusi that 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.
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, Cusi bared.
Rubio further said that this is the company’s commitment to support its partners in any way it can especially these challenging times, “more than the fact that this the obligation of power generation companies to its host communities,” he added.
According to Rubio that 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 and around P36 million has also been remitted by TSI and DOE to other various local governments units in the Davao region.
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, Aboitiz Power bared.
The AboitizPower’s solar and geothermal units on the other hand have also helped LGUs in Albay, Batangas, Laguna, and Negros Occidental build holding areas and distribution centers, provided medical and PPE supplies to frontline workers, decontaminate facilities, and distribute relief goods to feed low-income households during the quarantine period, the corporation said.
AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services and according to Rubio that in the next 10 years the company looks to expand its “Cleanergy portfolio.”
“Sixty-five percent of AboitizPower’s new capacities will be sourced from renewables, resulting in an almost 50:50 Cleanergy and thermal capacity mix by 2029,” Rubio said.
The company also owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, including the second and third largest private utilities in the country. (Photo: AboitizPower/Victor Silva)