Hydropower plant seen to save Ifugao Rice Terraces inaugurated
CAGAYAN, Philippines – More than a year after it was announced, the hydropower plant built to save the deteriorating Ifugao Rice Terraces was inaugurated on Thursday, July 9.
The P400-million Likud Mini-Hydro Power Development Project was funded through grants from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), an organization also active in flood control and humanitarian responses during typhoons in the Philippines.
Ifugao Governor Dennis Habawel thanked the agencies who partnered for the project, which include the Department of Energy (DOE).
"The Ifugao People are truly grateful for such a great project. This is definitely a sustainable source of funds for conservation and preservation of the Ifugao Rice Terraces," Habawel said.
Habawel added that as a condition for the grant, the net proceeds of the plant must be placed in a trust fund called the Rice Terraces Conservation Fund (RTCF), which is supposed to fund the preservation of the Ifugao Rice Terraces.
Lack of irrigation caused farmers to abandon the Ifugao Rice Terraces, a 2,000-year-old wonder and a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (READ: Ifugao's famed rice terraces face modern threats)
JICA announced earlier that the electric plant, once operational, will have an estimated 810-kilowatt capacity. It will use water from Likud River in Ifugao and generate an annual 6,206.2 megawatts.
The Ifugao Electric Cooperative is the distributor of the power produced.
"The objective of the project is… to promote renewable energy, thereby contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emission, and conservation of local tourism asset, rice terraces," JICA said, adding that it is "unlikely" for the project to have any adverse effects on the environment.
Representatives from JICA and DOE were also present during the inauguration. – Rappler.com
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