As SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet, Inc announced its two year rehabilitation work on the Ambuklao Hydroelectric Power Plant, residents of Bokod also ask the company for support in livelihood and forest conservation-related projects of the area which serves as the watershed and water source for Binga and Ambuklao dams.
BY ARTHUR L. ALLAD-IW
Posted by Bulatlat
BAGUIO CITY (246 kms north of Manila) — As SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet, Inc announced its two-year rehabilitation work on the Ambuklao Hydroelectric Power Plant, residents of Bokod also ask the company for support in livelihood and forest conservation-related projects of the area which serves as the watershed and water source for Binga and Ambuklao dams.
In a press conference Friday last week, Mike Hostillos of the Aboitiz Corporation Communication Office, told the media that their company started the rehabilitation work December last year, and expect it to be completed at the end of 2010.
Hostillos said that as part of their corporate program, they will support the ADSDPP (Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development Plan) of the indigenous peoples in that area, including environmental conservation related projects.
He added that they generally support projects that would holistically maintain and conserve the forest areas. He explained, however, that since the National Power Corporation (Napocor) supervises the conservation of the watershed areas surrounding and upstream the dams, they will coordinate with Napocor and the local government units (LGUs) to be their partners.
The Ambuclao Dam in Bokod, Benguet (211 kms north of Manila) was built in 1953 while the Binga Dam in Itogon, Benguet (198 kms north of Manila) was built in 1956. Both dams have not been operative since 1999 due to siltation and destruction of structure, which call for substantial rehabilitation. The 1990 earthquake is seen as having contributed to the dams’ non-operation.
A member of the Ibaloi tribe of Bokod said that Mt. Pulag and their area serve as the water source of various creeks and rivers that flow down the Agno River which ensure water for the Ambuklao and Binga dams.
This resident said Mt. Pulag and the area needed assistance for environment and forest conservation projects — establishment of fire lines, training for nursery and park management, and information and education on the area’s situation, conservation and preservation as watershed and National Park.