By Ramon Efren Lazaro (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 8, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The National Power Corp. (Napocor) issued only land use permits for the dam and dike rehabilitation project of the Angat Hydropower Corp. (AHC), an official has clarified.
The permits allow AHC to use 42.19 hectares of land within the watershed to serve as temporary campsite of the contractors and the facilities to be used for the project, Emmanuel Umali, Napocor watershed management department manager, said in a statement issued on Monday.
Umali was reacting to the call of Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Sy Alvarado to AHC contractors and engineers to stop the cutting of trees at the watershed.
Martin Francisco, chairman of the environment watchdog Sagip Sierra Madre Environment Society Inc., said the cutting of trees and quarrying operations proceeded without consent from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
Umali said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued the permit to cut trees after an onsite inventory with Napocor.
“We shall ensure that for every tree, AHC will provide 100 seedlings as replacement as indicated in DENR Memorandum Circular 2012-0... The cut trees will be accounted for and brought to the DENR,” Umali said.
The Angat Dam and dike-strengthening project is part of a sale agreement with AHC. The project is in its second phase and expected to be completed in February 2018.