Brgy. Villa Ibaba officials together with Fe Roales, Department of the Interior and Local Government Tayabas City Director take note of the different concerns in their barangay.

 

As part of its commitment to build a sustainable and empowered community, Atimonan One Energy, Inc. (A1E) initiated a three-day workshop to help local officials of Brgy. Villa Ibaba in Atimonan, Quezon formulate their barangay development plan.

As a host of the of A1E’s 1,200-megawatt (MW) high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal-fired power plant project, the barangay is entitled to the benefits under the Energy Regulations (ER) No. 1-94.

Under the ER 1-94, power plant developers are mandated to allot one-centavo per kilowatt-hour of its electricity sales to its host communities which they can use for electrification of communities that have no access to electricity, environment enhancement, livelihood, reforestation and watershed management, and health-related projects.

More than PHP80 million is expected to be remitted to the host communities – from the region up to the resettlement area — through ER 1-94 each year. Of the total, Barangay Villa Ibaba is expected to get an allocation of about PHP17 million.

Besides this, the barangay is also expected to benefit from A1E’s payment of local taxes.

Crafting the barangay development plan gives the officials a more solid plan on how they can utilize these resources to maximize the benefits that the residents will get.

The plan, which is submitted to the municipal government on an annual basis, contains programs and projects, the manner of implementation, proposed budget, and target results.

This plan is checked by the Department of Interior and Local Government and is being used by the municipality as the basis for the budget that will be released to each barangay.

A total of 11 officials – led by Barangay Chairman Rogelio Balinsayo – took part in the crafting of the plan as part of the workshop, which ran from August 20 to 22.

The activity was facilitated by the Center for Local Governance and Professional Development, Inc. (CLGPD), an academic and experienced based training and consultancy company dedicated to the comprehensive development of local governance practitioners. The organization conducts trainings and seminars on various topics in local governance.

CLGPD President and Chief Executive Officer Isaias Ubana II emphasized the importance of planning in the crafting of the barangay development plan that enables officials to understand the needs of their constituents.

Ubana, who is also a Board Member of Quezon Province’s 4th District Board, told the barangay officials: “The progress of your barangay lies in the right planning and the needs analysis of the community. This will bring clarity to the projects proposed.”

Brgy. Villa Ibaba Councilor Rogelio Zatarain asks Quezon 4th District Board Member Isaias Ubana II how to properly allocate budget to different programs.

 

Calauag Municipal Local Government Operations Officer Yonne Peria, for her part, said that “all projects and programs planned by the barangay will only be a reality if the officials have the political will to make it happen.”

Meanwhile, the barangay officials expressed gratefulness to A1E and CLGDP for the training.

“It was an insightful workshop. The practical applications and activities have helped us solidify our plans for our barangay,” said Chairman Balinsayo.

Besides the host barangay of A1E’s project, ten officials from Brgy. Villa Ilaya also participated in the workshop.

A1E hoped to help the barangay officials in determining the priority projects for their community and address the real needs of its residents.

“Through this workshop, we want the barangay officials to learn how they can maximize their local budget based on a long-term, comprehensive, and multi-sectoral development plan that we helped them craft,” said Cynthia Pardo, A1E External Affairs Manager.

“This is not the end of the planning process rather the start. I’m glad we took the first step towards the objective of an organized and continuous development of our barangays and host communities,” said A1E Development Manager Chris Chua, who is also Meralco PowerGen Corporation’s Vice President for Development and Asset Management.

This is just one of the many activities that A1E does for Atimonan specifically in helping the municipality create opportunities, strengthen the local systems, and improve the lives of its residents.

Last March, A1E turned over to the Atimonan local government a Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) that was developed with the help of Grandt Planners, Inc. through a series of workshops.

The workshops, conducted in 2018, was done to help the municipality in identifying development strategies that served as basis for the CLUP and zoning ordinances.

The CLUP is a planning document prepared by the municipality to rationalize the allocation and proper use of its land resources.

A1E aims to help create a progressive Atimonan through the implementation of its corporate social responsibility programs and continuous partnership with the local government units.