Amidst the continuing global health crisis and resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the country, AboitizPower continues to help communities stay afloat through funds from its power generation subsidiaries within these areas.
The company and the Department of Energy (DOE) as of October this year have remitted a total of ₱714 million to AboitizPower’s host communities through the Energy Regulations (ER) No. 1-94 program, which is seen to strengthen local efforts that help cushion the effects of the pandemic.
“We are glad that we get to support our host communities during these times. We know that every centavo counts and hope to be able to keep giving back,” AboitizPower President and CEO Emmanuel V. Rubio said.
Around 119 of AboitizPower’s host communities have used the funds to build isolation facilities as well as purchase relief goods and medical supplies, among others. Other projects include the acquisition of testing kits, ambulances, multipurpose vehicles, and the establishment of COVID-19 testing labs.
Barangay NBBN in Navotas City, home of some of AboitizPower’s power barges, recently inaugurated its new isolation center. Barangay Ermita in Cebu City, host to one of the company’s oil-fired power plants, was able to buy a new garbage truck and multi-purpose vehicle. Meanwhile, Barangay Inawayan in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, the host community of AboitizPower’s thermal power plant operated by Therma South, Inc. (TSI), built its first isolation unit using these funds.
“Through TSI’s presence in our community, we are able to benefit from the ER 1-94 program. Through Inawayan’s share of the ER 1-94 funds, we were able to put up the first barangay isolation unit in Sta. Cruz,” Inawayan Barangay Chief Danilo Baquial shared.
The DOE’s ER No. 1-94, which stipulates that communities will get a share of one centavo per every kilowatt-hour produced by power generation plants that are hosted in their areas, has proven to be a much-needed boost to local government units still battling the pandemic.
The fund is meant to 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 a circular covering ER 1-94 funds issued in March 2020, host LGUs may also use these shares to help manage the effects of the new virus, in accordance with the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
AboitizPower was among the first power generation companies to act on the circular and encourage its host beneficiaries to use the fund to address their pandemic-related needs.
“We will continue to work with the DOE and local government units through this program as we look forward to a better normal,” Rubio added.
AboitizPower remains true to its commitment to being the neighbor of choice of its stakeholders by enriching the quality of lives of its host and neighboring communities through its Corporate and Social Responsibility programs and the utilization of the ER 1-94 fund.
Likewise, the DOE continues to promote harmony and cooperation among LGUs, host regions, and power producers to ensure equitable preferential benefits for Filipino communities.