P4.5-B power project faces cancellation of DENR permit

by Tara Yap – July 13, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

Iloilo City—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-6) may cancel a permit it granted to a P4.5-billion renewable energy project in Aklan province.

In April, 2016, DENR-Aklan found that trees were illegally cut in a forest protected area. The tree cutting was part of pre-development works of Oriental Energy’s 18-megawatt (18-MW) hydropower plant in Madalag town.DENR-6 Regional Director Jim Sampulna said that the Forest Land Use Agreement issued to Oriental Energy and Power Generation Project Corp. can be revoked.

Oriental Energy’s subcontractor chopped trees within a 2.3-hectare site of DENR’s National Greening Program (NGP) to pave way for its road network.

DENR-6 already ordered a stop to the work, but Oriental Energy’s subcontractor continued to defy the order.

Atty. Jonathan Bulos, regional director of DENR-6’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-6), added that Oriental Energy also violated its Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).

Meanwhile, DENR-6 is recommending to DENR Central Office in Metro Manila to impose a P4.6-million penalty fee against Oriental Energy as well as the mandatory replanting to replace the damaged trees.