Sec. Cusi Issues Guidelines on Financial Benefits of Indigenous Communities Hosting Power Generation and Energy Resource Development Projects

TAGUIG CITY – The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Circular to guide the indigenous communities in accessing and utilizing the financial benefits from their hosting of power generation facilities and/or energy resource development projects pursuant to the Energy Regulations (ER) No. 1-94 Program. 

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi stated that, “The DOE recognizes the right of our tribal and indigenous communities to optimize available social development opportunities and preserve their critical role as the stewards of our energy resources, particularly where the power plants and/or the energy resource development projects are located.” 

The Department Circular DC2019-06-0010 prescribes the “Administrative Operating Guidelines for the Availment and Utilization of Financial Benefits by the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples, pursuant to DOE Department Circular No. DC2018-03-0005”. 

Under DC2019-06-0010, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) shall endorse all legitimate indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples (ICCs/IPs) beneficiaries to the DOE within 30 days from receiving all the necessary requirements from the ICCs/IPs. Thereafter, the DOE will notify the concerned generation company and/or energy resource developer of the inclusion of the host ICCs/IPs for the remittance of their financial benefits. The policy enables the host ICCs/IPs could to utilize the funds for the implementation of their social development projects. 

“The Host ICCs/IPs’ receipt of financial benefits from power plants situated within their ancestral domain is a symbolic way to mark the 25th year of implementing ER No. 1-94. This arrangement with the ICCs/IPs further strengthens the DOE’s commitment to boost their participation, cooperation and sustained partnership in power development projects,” Sec. Cusi said. 

DC2019-06-0010 was published on 12 July 2019 in Business World and Manila Times and shall take effect 15 days from its date of publication.