Tribal communities hold thanksgiving ceremony for geothermal benefits received

MADADMA Council of Elders Datu Damaso Bayawan, Datu Romeo Malibon, Datu Timuey Jonathan Abel, Datu Fedirico Sia, and Datu Brigido Baroro, Jr., together with the Barangay Tribal Council (BTC) of Barangays Ilomavis and Balabag in Kidapawan City and Barangay Kawayan in Magpet held their Samaya thanksgiving ritual for the benefits that they have received as hosts of EDC’s geothermal facilities in Mount Apo. EDC was represented by its CSR-PR Head Atty. Allan V. Barcena; Nancy P. Ibuna, CSR Head Office Lead; and Norreen G. Bautista, Head of CSR in Mount Apo and Negros.


The Manobo-Apao Descendants of Ancestral Domain of Mt. Apo (MADADMA) Council of Elders, together with the Barangay Tribal Council (BTC) of Barangays Ilomavis and Balabag  in Kidapawan City and Barangay  Kawayan in Magpet, recently held their joint Samaya thanksgiving ritual in celebration of the benefits that they have received for hosting geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) 108-megawatt Mount Apo Geothermal Project.


The benefits come from royalty equivalent to one centavo per kilowatt hour of energy that EDC generates in exchange for permission to operate in their ancestral domain. The deal was made in accordance with the free and prior informed consent that the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) granted to EDC in 2019. The consent allows EDC to continue operating its geothermal facility at the foot of Mount Apo, the country’s tallest mountain.


The tribal ritual held at Lake Agco, Kidapawan, Cotabato was attended by EDC representatives led by Atty. Allan V. Barcena, head of Corporate Social Responsibility-Public Relations (CSR-PR) Group; Norreen G. Bautista, head of Mount Apo and Negros site CSR teams; and Nancy Ibuna, CSR-head office team lead.


“We are thankful to the MADADMA, BTC, and the Kidapawan and Magpet LGUs  for being our partners in fighting climate change by allowing us to continue harnessing clean, renewable, reliable geothermal energy from their ancestral domain,” said Allan V. Barcena. “We value the trust that they have given us and will continue to provide support to improve their quality of life.”


The royalties that the IPs will receive annually for the next 25 years will provide them with a steady source of funds that they can use for livelihood, health, education, and other community empowerment programs.


“We truly appreciate the benefits that EDC continues to provide us for our tribe’s development and success,” said MADADMA chairman Datu Damaso Bayawan. “We did our Samaya thanksgiving ceremony to express our gratitude to EDC not only for the royalties but also for being there to help us rise up after the series of strong earthquakes that hit our province late last year.”


Datu Bayawan was referring to the assistance that EDC provided to them, especially to over 4,000 residents of Barangays Ilomavis and Balabag, after the strong earthquakes that occurred in Mindanao in October last year. EDC gave them relief goods of rice, canned food, noodles, bottled water, medicines, and tents apart from constructing makeshift toilets and giving them access to potable water at the evacuation center where over 1,400 of them were temporarily transferred for safety reasons.


EDC is a global pioneer in the geothermal energy industry and the world’s largest vertically-integrated geothermal developer, generating  1,457.8MW of clean and renewable energy for our country.


The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is a pioneer in generating 100% clean, renewable, and reliable power as an electricity supplier in the Philippines for over 40 years. With power plants all over Visayas and Mindanao, the company is one of the biggest producers of geothermal energy in Asia and is expanding its reach in the international market, allowing it to offer customers affordable energy rates. EDC also strives to provide the best customer service it can to all its clients by having helpful salespeople and easy to understand contracts. Because of all of this, it is poised to become the premier supplier of electricity for the Philippines’ Green Energy Option Program. EDC takes its mission as a renewable energy provider seriously and goes beyond sustainability by investing in programs that enhance the environment and empower its partner communities, thereby fostering regenerative development. The company has also been working toward being carbon-neutral by improving its energy efficiency, as well as implementing various greening projects to ensure that its mission to provide future generations with a better life remains intact.