Funding sought for communities generating hydropower

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Agus V and VI Hydroelectric Power Plant

A BILL providing funding for the protection, conservation, management and development of local government units (LGUs) that host hydroelectric generation facilities has been filed at the House of Representatives.

House Bill No. 8723, authored by Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo E. Cua, proposed to grant host communities financial benefits from the sale of hydropower.

“The management of flowing water is not limited to the location of the hydroelectric generation facility. It begins at the point of origin of the waterway and includes its surrounding areas,” Mr. Cua said in the explanatory note.

If enacted, the measure will require hydro facilities to remit P0.01 per kilowatt-hour of its electricity sales directly to the LGU of the host community.

Of this share, 50% will be allocated for the protection, conservation, management and development of natural resources.

The other 25% of the collection will go to an electrification fund; while the remainder will be set aside for development and livelihood.

The bill includes host communities like provinces, cities, municipalities or barangays from where the water system begins up to the hydroelectric generation facility. In light of this, the measure provided that the collection be distributed across all covered areas.

The bill will also establish an Integrated Water System Management Committee, which shall be headed by local executives of the host communities.

“The Committee shall maintain a close working relationship with the various national government agencies to avoid replication in the protection, conservation, management, and development of related resources,” according to the bill. — Charmaine A. Tadalan