• Vizcaya gov slams absence of plan for dam

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    NUEVA Vizcaya Gov. Carlos Padilla has expressed dismay over absence of a detailed program on an environmental rehabilitation plan for areas to be affected by proposed construction of Diduyon dam in the mountain town of Kasibu.

    He also noted the absence of a relocation plan for the affected tribal villages, scientific study and protection plan for the affected natural resources and livelihood opportunities for displaced communities.

    He, however, assured neutrality by not endorsing the proposed dam construction, saying he will let the people decide if they want to support it or not.

    ”If they do not want your project, expect the same decision from us,” Padilla said, addressing the proponents of the Diduyon Hydro Power Plant (DHPP).

    Last week, Green Energy Management (GEM) & Holdings Inc. proposed the construction of the $610 million DHPP project to be built in the mountains of Kasibu town, one of the remaining watersheds in the province.
    According to GEM, the DHPP project is 12 kilometers long and 103 meters high.

    GEM officials said the project’s power component is expected to generate at least 320 megawatts, which will augment power supply in the Northern Luzon grid.

    If the project is approved, local officials suggested that the DHPP proponents build their facilities solely in the province to prevent legal disputes.

    The officials also noted legal controversies with a mining company and a power- generating company in the collection of national wealth share, real property taxes and other taxes due the province.

    Provincial Legal Officer Voltaire Garcia said the provincial government wants to avoid any legal controversies that may crop up similar to those surrounding the Casecnan Multi-Purpose Irrigation and Power Project (CMIPP) and OceanaGold (Philippines) Inc. (OGPI) operating in the province.

    The provincial government has sought legal remedies with the California Energy’s CMIPP in Alfonso Castañeda town over the collection of the company’s real property tax to the province and so with the Australian OGPI miner in the Didipio Mine in Kasibu town including regulatory taxes.

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