July 19, 2024

In a recent turn of events, the municipal council of Bakun, Benguet said it has not authorized Mayor Billy Raymundo to sign any agreement with Hedcor, Inc. that paved the way for the resumption of operation of three hydropower plants in the municipality.
“This body has not given any authority, formal or otherwise, for the municipal mayor to enter into and sign and on behalf of the municipality, in any agreement, with Hedcor, Inc. particularly with respect to the Aug. 7, 2020 letter-agreement,” the resolution stated.
Raymundo and Hedcor, Inc. represented by Vice President for Corporate Services Noreen Marie Vicencio signed an agreement on Aug. 7 with Vice Gov. Johnny Waguis and other provincial officials as witnesses. 
The letter-agreement stated it is the obligation of the municipality through the mayor to lift the stoppage order dated July 23 to allow the Lon-oy, Ferdinand L. Singit, and Lower Labay hydropower plants to resume operations. 
The letter-agreement also allows the mayor to supposedly issue the company’s business permit for the plants upon its Hedcor’s completion of the business permit renewal process and requirements.
On July 26, the municipal government ordered a stopto Hedcor’s operations for non-payment of its obligation from the plants’ power generation and operating without a business permit.
The firm filed a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary mandatory injunction against the LGU.  
The exact amount of the supposed obligation by Hedcor has not been stated.
Hedcor will also file a motion with the regional trial court to withdraw its case upon the issuance of the business permit and signing of the order to lift the stoppage effective Aug. 7.
The company will also provide financial assistance of P4.360 million the municipality, which will be given within 30 days from the signing of the agreement.
The company will give financial assistance of P2.180M to barangays Sinacbat and Poblacion, to be given within 30 days from the signing of the agreement.
The company also pledged to restart negotiating for a new memorandum of agreement with the municipality for the voluntary sharing of its income for the benefit of the town for 2020 onwards. – Ofelia C. Empian