By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 12, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - State-run National Power Corp. (Napocor) is spending P431 million this year to support the rehabilitation and management of watershed areas under its jurisdiction.
The amount will be taken from the environmental fund under the universal charge (UC), which was approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), Napocor is allowed to avail from the EC-environmental fund—which is intended solely for watershed rehabilitation and management—as long as it seeks approval from the power regulator.
The state-run firm will use the availment for its “Plan 14” for the greening of watershed areas.
Plan 14 covers the San Roque (Lower Agno) watershed, the Pantabangan and Magat watersheds, where the state-run firm has a sharing scheme with the National Irrigation Administration, and Lake Lanao-Agus River and Pulangi watershed area.
It also covers Upper Agno Watershed Reservation, Angat Watershed Reservation, Caliraya-Lumot Watershed Reservation, Makiling-Banahaw Geothermal Reservations, Buhi-Barat Watershed and Tiwi Geothermal Reservation.
Under the plan, Napocor will rehabilitate 3,059 hectares with vegetative measures, implement reduction of sedimentation and soil erosion, increase biodiversity of flora and fauna through conservation and ecotourism programs, among others.
The UC is a component in electricity bills to reduce the financial obligations of Napocor. It consists of stranded contract cost, missionary charge and the environmental fund.