Vol. 8 No. 390
Sunday, March 4, 2012
  Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines

Concern ‘sprouts’ on new mega-dam

Issues cropped up anew concerning the proposed Kantakoy Dam which is to be situated between the municipalities of Danao and Inabanga; various concerns raised during the Executive Committee Meeting of the Provincial Development Council (PDC) Tuesday.

The proposed Kantakoy Dam is a P1 billion Hydropower Project which would be set up in between the Wahig River of Inabanga and Cabatuan, Danao, would have an 8 megawatt (MW) capacity and could be an important and reliable source of electricity, an important element in the development plans of the province.

Second District Board Members Roygie Jumamoy and Romulo Cepedoza voiced out their “passionate” concerns regarding the project which, they said, did not go through the usual processes as expected by the local government officials of Bohol.

The project’s proponents namely: the Quadriver Energy Corporation, the Sta. Clara Power Corp. and the Sta. Clara International Corp., which are all under the Ayala Group of Companies, have requested an audience from the Office of the Governor earlier to formally present their group at the PDC, of which PDC Chair Gov. Edgar M. Chatto granted.

However, during the course of the discussion, fundamental albeit very important issues cropped up: like the completion of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), municipal boundaries, social issues, and compliance with LGU resolutions, rules and regulations.

Board Members Jumamoy and Cepedoza however pointed out to the body that their respective LGUs were not properly informed and kept posted on the project’s developments since it asked for a permission to conduct a Feasibility Study (FS) back in 2004 from LGU-Inabanga, when BM Jumamoy was still the municipal mayor.

Provincial Planning and Development Officer John Vistal also attested that the project was not taken up for discussions during previous PDCs at the time of the previous administration.

Moreover, BM Cepedoza informed that previous agreements on profit-sharing of the project are clearly kaput as Atty. Ryan Acosta, Quadriver’s Legal Counsel, admitted that the Kantakoy Project is now a 100% Independent Power Producer (IPP).

BM Jumamoy pointed out that a Geo-feasibility Test is now being done in Inabanga for the project but still, nobody can fault LGU officials of their apprehensions and on insisting that they must be properly and formally informed of its progress; but however clarified that they are not objecting to it especially if it would benefit the people of Bohol.

For his part, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Nestor Canda said that his office was not involved in the issuance of the project’s ECC; for in its preparation, two studies must first be needed to be done: namely; a Feasibility Study and an Environmental Impact Study which are under the office of the DENR Regional Director. They are tasked to issue the ECC, considering the amount and depth of the project.

When asked why they were not informed earlier when the project was still in its preparation stage, and why the proponents have not properly coordinated with the LGUs and the Provincial Government; Atty. Acosta revealed that they merely complied with the instructions given by the Department of Energy, and presumed that compliance thereof would lend legitimacy to their group in seeing the project through to its completion and implementation.

In resolving the concerns raised, Gov. Chatto requested Atty. Acosta and his team to have all the project’s papers ready for perusal by the Council on its next meeting. He tasked the secretariat to set a date for meeting to clarify all issues and concerns and to the satisfaction of all those involved in the project. (EdCom-Bohol)

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