March 5, 2024

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The sangguniang panlungsod here has endorsed two proposed mega projects that are seen to benefit the local government unit and the communities.
Endorsed in separate resolutions are the 17-megawatt Upper Tabuk Hydropower Project (UTHPP) at Barangay Dupag and the P640-million Bulanao Public Market and Commercial Center project.
The endorsements, though, are tied with some conditions for compliance by the project proponents.
Conditions attached to the proposed UTHPP include the issuance of a certificate of precondition from the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples, environmental compliance certificate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and compliance with all other requirements as prescribed by law.
A memorandum of agreement between the affected indigenous cultural communities and project proponent DPJ Engineers and Consultants (DPJ) is being worked out, where the ICCs are asking for a number of infrastructure projects in their negotiations with DPJ.
These include the construction of a bridge in the project site to cost about P130M, a two-kilometer access road, slope protection for Sabangan and Minanga, a tramline in Dupag, irrigation systems, livelihood projects, scholarship programs, and ambulances.
The UTHPP is described as a small hydropower development with storage along the Tanudan River. It has a rated capacity of between 15 and 20MW and is conservatively projected to generate around 50 gigawatt hours of electricity annually. It aims to provide better quality and cheaper electricity by at least P1/kWh than the electricity sold by the Kalinga Electric Cooperative.
On the other hand, the Bulanao market project involves some conditions, such as priority will be given to current stallholders after proper inventory of legitimate occupants; and for project proponent XRC Mall Developers Inc., among others to pay the city government an annual rent of P2M with an escalation of five percent every five years starting on the sixth year of contract and turn over the ownership of the buildings and structures to the city government when the lease contract expires. The council set the lease period for 30 years.
Mayor Darwin Estrañero thanked the council for approving the project, which is one of his administration’s development agenda under the modernization of public markets, city services, and utilities. – Peter A. Balocnit