April 16, 2024

Communities in Ifugao, Isabela, and Nueva Vizcaya hosting renewable energy provider SN Aboitiz Power-Magat, Inc. received P4 million electrification fund to support them in their fight against the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19).

An electrification fund worth P418,834.70 for the remaining host local government units in said provinces is also awaiting endorsement from the Department of Energy. Once approved for remittance, this would bring the total fund for SNAP-Magat host communities to P4.4M, excluding the regional share.

The electrification fund is part of the ER 1-94 program of the DOE, which provides host communities with a one-centavo share for every kilowatt-hour of the total electricity sales of a generation company.

The ER 1-94 fund also includes Development and Livelihood Fund (DLF) and the Reforestation, Watershed Management, Health and Environment Enhancement Fund (RWMHEEF).

In 2018, DOE amended ER 1-94 so that power generation companies can directly download the fund to their host communities. It also expanded the categories of beneficiaries to include host regions and indigenous peoples groups, as well as distribution utilities in charge of the electrification fund component for host beneficiaries.

Last year, SNAP-Magat signed memorandums of agreement with its host communities to implement the amended ER 1-94.

The DOE issued Department Circular 2020-04-00080 on April 6 to allow the use of ER 1-94 fund for Covid-19 response projects and the downloading of the electrification fund to host communities as backup for DLF and RWMHEEF.

Projects include the facilitation of mass testing by providing and constructing facilities, procurement of medical testing kits, emergency subsidy (non-food) or augmentation to existing subsidy programs, access to essential goods such as food and medicines through mobile markets or feeding programs, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for Covid-19 frontliners.

SNAP-Magat remitted P7.8M worth of DLF and RWMHEEF late last year and early this year. This is an accumulated fund from Dec. 26, 2017 to Dec. 25, 2019 while amendments to the ER 1-94 guidelines were being developed.

In April, SNAP-Magat also provided P4.8M worth of food and PPE aid to its host communities in Magat from the company’s voluntary Corporate Social Responsibility program fund.

“We thank the DOE for exploring ways to support the nation’s fight against Covid-19. The newly signed (circular) backs our commitment to help our host communities in their battle against Covid-19,” SNAP President and CEO Joseph S. Yu said.

“SNAP Group is committed to powering positive change in our host communities. Social responsibility has always been at the core of our operations, and Covid-19 not dented that commitment; it only strengthened it,” he added.

SNAP-Magat is a joint venture between SN Power of Norway and Aboitiz Power. It owns and operates the 360 to 388-megawatt Magat hydro on the border of Isabela and Ifugao and the 8.5-MW Maris hydro in Isabela. – Press release