December 8, 2022

Hedcor has resumed the operation of its three mini-hydro power plants in Bakun, Benguet on July 28.
This is after officials and residents representing the ancestral domain of Bakunand Hedcor officials reached an agreement especially on annual revenue sharing over the operation of the hydropower plants.
One of the salient points of the agreement is the increase in the municipality’s share from one centavo per kilowatt hour or P500,000 per year to 14 centavos per kWh, which is almost P7 million annually. 
Mayor Billy Raymundo welcomed the agreement after the community stood its ground for a fair share from the operation of the hydropower plants within its domain.
Hedcor President and Chief Operations Officer Rolando Pacquiao led other company officials during the negotiation on July 28 facilitated by National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Cordillera Director Marlon Bosantog. 
Raymundo earlier led the implementation of the cease and desist order issued by NCIP-Cordillera to Hedcor on June 30, which led to the shutdown of the three hydropower plants. 
The agreement of P500,000 per year was indicated in the memorandum of agreement earlier signed by the Bakun Indigenous Tribe Organization (BITO) and Hedcor.
The elders later recalled the agreement due to allegations of irregularities during negotiations with Hedcor and after the company filed cases against town officials, including Raymundo.
Councilor June Suni-en said Hedcor and the local government will create a joint motion to withdraw the cases the company filed against town officials and the Anti-Red Tape Authority case filed against the mayor.
“Hedcor will craft its position paper that it will not pursue filing a case at the Ombudsman against the mayor,” Suni-en said.
Also, a tripartite agreement would soon be signed by Hedcor, BITO and the NCIP-Cordillera regarding the hydropower plant’s operation for the next 25 years.
Another agreement with the municipality, host barangays of Sinacbat and Poblacion, and BITO will be drafted.
Bakun has been host to Hedcor’s 5.9-megawatt Ferdinand L. Singit hydro, 3.6-MW Lon-oy hydro, and 2.4-MW Lower Labay hydro in the past 25 years. – Ofelia C. Empian