The power firm of the Aboitiz group, Aboitiz Power Corp., and the Department of Energy turned over about P140.1 million in Energy Regulations 1-94 (ER 1-94) funds to 36 beneficiaries of its business units AP Renewables, Inc. (APRI) and San Carlos Sun Power, Inc. (SacaSun).
In a report, the fund is part of the P351.6 million of the fund generated by its geothermal and solar facilities as the remainder will also be turned over as soon as the processing is completed.
Dennis B. Jordan, president and chief operating officer of the the geothermal and solar business units of the group, said the beneficiaries can use the fund to help them wade through the challenges brought about by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We don’t know how long this crisis will last. I see the accrued ER 1-94 fund as a blessing. This is God’s provision that our host communities can tap and utilize at this very difficult moment in our nation’s history. May they be able to use this resource to help contain, mitigate, and eventually eliminate the spread of COVID-19 in their respective areas,” he said.
Benefiting from the funding are 24 barangays, three municipalities, and two cities in the provinces of Albay, Batangas, Laguna, and Negros Occidental. Regions IV-A, V, and VI, will also get their share through their Regional Development Councils (RDCs) which can also allocate the fund to their chosen non-LGUs.
Under ER 1-94, host communities get one centavo per kilowatt-hour (PHP 0.01/kWh) share in the total electricity sales of a power generating facility located within their locality. The new DOE Circular No. DC2020-04-00080 mandates that the funds can now be utilized for COVID-19 response efforts, in support of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
The fund can also be used by the LGUs to fund their responses to COVID-19, including the setting up of holding areas or distribution centers, buying of medical and PPE supplies, facility decontamination, and relief goods to feed low-income households during this prolonged quarantine period.
The beneficiaries can also use the fund for mass testing, subsidy programs for non-food items, mobile market to ensure uninterrupted availability of essential goods, construction of quarantine centers, provision of cremation and burial services, electricity cost subsidies to newly constructed health facilities, and all other reasonable means or measure to mitigate, contain, and eliminate the transmission of COVID-19.