Ifugao communities get P18M from Magat dam

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LAGAWE, Ifugao: The SN Aboitiz Power-Magat Inc. (SNAP-Magat) paid at least P18 million in real property and national wealth taxes to host communities in this province in the operation of Magat dam power facilities.

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Lawyer Mike Hosillos, corporate communications head said SNAP-Magat has delivered for this year’s quarter to Ifu- gao province around P4.78 million in real property tax and around P756,000 in nati- onal wealth.

Hosillos said the host municipalities of Alfonso Lista, Mayoyao, Aguinaldo, Lamut and Lagawe also received their share of the national wealth tax of P7.94 million; 10 host villages in said municipalities also received a total share of P4.39 million.

He said about the same amount of taxes was also received by co-host communities in Isabela which would augment the municipalities’ resources in their efforts to bring development.

SNAP-Magat owns and operates the 360-megawatt (MW) Magat Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEPP) at the border of Ramon, Isabela and Alfonso Lista, Ifugao.

The Magat HEPP was a state-owned facility until SNAP-Magat took over operations on April 26, 2007. A year earlier on December 14, 2006, SNAP-Magat had successfully taken over the facility with a $530-million bid under the Philippine government’s power sector privatization program.

SNAP-Magat has 22 host barangays in 10 municipalities across the three provinc- es of Isabela, Ifugao and Nu-eva Vizcaya.

While the power plant is owned and operated by SNAP-Magat, the multi-purpose dam—primarily used for irrigation—remains government-owned.

Also, SNAP-Benguet owns and operates the 105-MW Ambuklao HEPP in Bokod and the 125-MW Binga HEPP in Itogon, both located in Benguet.

On November 28, 2007, SNAP-Benguet won the public bid for the Ambuklao and Binga HEPPs, which were sold as a package under the power sector privatization program of the Philippine government. SNAP-Benguet offered a bid price of $325 million and took over operations on July 10, 2008. The dams remain government-owned.

SNAP-Benguet is hosted by the province of Benguet and the municipalities of Itogon and Bokod. It has nine host barangays, as well as the Shakilan ni Ikulos Indigenous Peoples’ Organization and the Tinongdan Indigenous Peoples’ Organization.

Both companies are joint ventures between SN Power of Norway and AboitizPower.

Magat dam irrigates some 80,000 hectares of farmlands in Isabela and parts of Caga-yan and Quirino provinces maintaining Cagayan Valley’s status as top rice granary in the country.

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