Tuba elders says no to hydro power project
Elders and leaders of the Tuba ancestral domain passed a resolution rejecting the proposed three-megawatt hydroelectric power project of AQA Green Renewable Energy in Tuba, Benguet.
In the resolution of non-consent dated March 17, the indigenous cultural community elders and leaders stated they are opposed to the project for the safety and protection of the community lives and properties.
The resolution stated the situation of the river and its edges is unpredictable while the community is prone to flooding and that the project’s siltation will have a negative effect along the river bank.
Other justifications cited by the elders are the existing gold panning and other livelihood activities will be affected; it will affect the development of tourism along the Aran Cave; and it will disturb the cultural practices and the peace and order of the community.
“This resolution of non-consent reflects the decision of all members of the Tuba ancestral domain and the decision came about after undergoing the free prior and informed consent (FPIC) process,” the elders stated.
The resolution was signed by 51 elders and leaders and witnessed by members of the FPIC team coming from the Tuba ancestral domain and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
As of Sept. 30, 2022, the Department of Energy’s data of awarded hydropower projects showed there are six other hydroelectric power projects in Tuba.
These are the Abdao and Abdao 2 HEPP by AV Garcia Power Systems Corp. which is in its development stage; Irisan 3 and Irisan 1 HEPP by Hedcor, Inc. which is commercially operational; Tadiangan HEPP by Goldlink Global Energy Corp. which is in the pre-development stage, and the Kennon HEPP by J3S Hydro Power Corp. which is in the development stage.
In Benguet, there are 36 hydroelectric power plants awarded by DOE in different towns, which are in different stages of development. – Ofelia C. Empian