Mayor seeks win-win solution to Asin hydro impasse

BAGUIO CITY – Both local government of Baguio City and Tuba town must work to achieve a “win-win solution” to the issues involving the Asin minihyroelectric power plants lest both LGUs including the affected landowners end up empty-handed.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Wednesday reiterated the city government’s willingness to sit down with their Tuba counterparts to explore available avenues and points of compromise to settle the issues.

“If there will be no outcome, then we have no recourse but to settle this in the proper forum but I would want a win-win solution because if we fail to achieve that, we all stand to lose,” the mayor said.

“But for now I have high hopes that we can solve this with the cooperation of our counterparts in the municipality of Tuba. What’s the use of BLISTT (Baguio-La-Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay) if we cannot agree even on this one resolvable matter?,” the mayor said.

The mayor said that for its part, the city will continue working out the settlement of the rental issue with the affected surface owners.

The city will consult with the Commission on Audit (COA) to gain clearance for the city council to waive the city’s claim for civil damages against the members of the Tadiangan-Nangalisan Hydro Ancestral Landowners Association (TNHALA) for allegedly diverting water supply disrupting the operation of the plants years ago just to facilitate the payment of the rental fees.

The TNHALA members were among those included in the compromise agreement forged in 2010 for the compensation of the residents whose lands are affected by the pipelines and plant facilities.

The mayor also urged the city council to confirm the terms of reference to allow the winning developer Kaltimex Energy Philippines to start the project.

“We reiterate that we are willing to hold a dialogue with the Tuba officials where they can present a lay-out of the things they want to get done. Of course we will readily consider if these are meritorious,” he said.

The mayor maintained that Tuba residents would benefit from the activation of the flume lines of the city-owned facilities and the payment of the rental fees to residents whose lands are traversed by the pipelines and plant facilities.

As to the application of Goldlink Global Energy Philippines for the development of hydro power plants along the Asin river which was approved by the Tuba municipality, Domogan said the city poses no objection as long as the project will not jeopardize the city-owned Asin hydro power plants.

At present Goldlink’s applications remain pending before the Department of Energy (DOE).

The city’s application for the transfer of water rights from the Baguio Water District which the Tuba municipal government opposed also awaits action by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB)./Aileen P. Refuerzo


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