By Philippine News Agency
The Indigenous People (IP) will benefit from the Department of Energy (DOE) power projects as host communities are entitled to get one centavo per kilowatt-hour of the total electricity sales trust fund owned by power generators and communities, the agency noted recently.
In compliance with the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi recently signed a policy to enforce the provision of benefits to host communities, ensuring that the IP will also get financial benefits from the energy infrastructures.
The money that host communities will get shall be used for development and livelihood fund (DLF), reforestation, watershed management, health and or environment enhancement fund (RWMHEEF), and electrification fund (EF), according to DOE.
The department added that the DLF and RWMHEEF would be allocated as: (1) designated resettlement area (5 percent); (2) host barangay (20 percent); (3) host municipality (35 percent); (4) host province/s (30 percent); (5) host region/s (5 percent); and (6) host organized indigenous cultural communities (ICC) and IP (5 percent) for non-highly urbanized cities.
For the highly urbanized cities, however, the DLF and RWMHEEF will be as follows: (1) designated resettlement area (10 percent); (2) host barangay (30 percent); (3) host cities (55 percent) and (4) host organized ICC or IP (5 percent).
The DOE noted that the policy recognizes the IP’s rights on their ancestral domains.
“The policy ensures direct benefits to the communities, cities, municipalities up to the regional level that host an energy resource or energy-generating facility,” the DOE said in a statement, adding that the policy would also boost cooperation among energy resource developers and host communities.
The policy, it added, would fast track provision of direct benefits to IP.
“We are committed to boost the inclusion of IP in the development of power projects and hosting power generation facility,” the DOE said.