Issue of February 14, 2021
     
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2 barangays stall issuance of business permit to HEDCOR
by Ofelia C. Empian

The municipal council of Bakun, Benguet has supported the resolution of two barangays asking Mayor Bill Raymundo to put on hold the issuance of business permit to Hedcor, Inc. pending the requisite barangay clearances.

Barangays Sinacbat and Poblacion, in a joint resolution passed Jan. 4, said the company must first obtain a barangay clearance prior to the issuance of the business permit by the municipal government.

While acknowledging that Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code, which gives the discretion of the chief executive to issue business permit, the barangays said because the facilities of Hedcor are located within their jurisdictions, their decision must be honored and respected.

Councilor June Suni-en has informed Hedcor during their recent meeting that the municipal government will not issue a business permit unless there is new memorandum of agreement signed among the parties.

In a statement, Hedcor said it respects the joint resolution of Poblacion and Sinacbat, but will have to defer to the municipal government for any response.

“Hedcor maintains its position that the issuance of the business permit and barangay clearance should not be conditioned on and is separate and distinct from any support program voluntarily made by the company on top of its legal obligations,” the firm stated.

The company also maintained its commitment to being a partner to its host LGUs in promoting the common good and welfare of the residents and indigenous cultural communities
In July last year, the LGU served the stoppage order against Hedcor for alleged non-payment of its obligation from the plants’ power generation and operating without a business permit.

The company’s 25-year MOA with the community has expired.

Hedcor and the LGU then settled the issue by paying its unsettled obligations to the community, which should have paved the way for the issuance of business permit for the continuation of the firm’s operation.

The LGU and Hedcor also discussed the contents of the supposed new MOA.

“As dialogues with the office of the municipal mayor continue, Hedcor trusts that both parties will arrive at the most meaningful, reasonable, and sustainable terms to provide additional support to the constituents of Bakun,” the company added.


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