Energy Regulation 1-94 Installing enabling policies to secure benefits for Indigenous Peoples as stewards and hosts of energy projectsPosted on December 9, 2019
FPE Enabling Objective (EO) 3: Promote responsive policies and actions for BCSD
Group photo during the Public Consultation on ER1-94 last March 2019
With its long years of engagement with Indigenous Peoples and helping them to gain recognition of their rightful share and benefits as stewards of natural resources, the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE), with Tanggapang Panligal ng Katutubong Pilipino (PANLIPI), Indigenous Peoples Organizations and Civil Society Organization partners, has been instrumental in the issuance of guidelines on the utilization of funds derived from Universal Charge-Environmental Charge (UC-EC) and ER 1-94 (Energy Regulation 1-94 Program) under the Energy Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).
Meeting with Bakun indigenous peoples organization on the administrative operating guidelines for the ICCs/IPs, with Ms. Gina Bacoweng, CRO of Bakun and Hedcor Inc. (Photo credit: Department of Energy - REAMD-EPIMB)
The collective efforts of these groups resulted to the recognition of the IPs as host communities of energy development projects. The Department of Energy (DoE), have issued Department Circulars (DC), which recognize the right of ICC to ancestral domains and its natural resources. DC 2018- 03-0005 expanded the operational definition of Host Communities to include ICC/IPs and right to equitable share of financial benefits from host generating facilities and/or energy resources and ER 1-94 program. With ER 1-94, host ICC/IP duly recognized and accredited by National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), can now access the revenues generated by Generation Facilities, and this will have huge implications in terms of funding programs in support of biodiversity conservation and environmental protection. The fund, derived from the electric sales from generating companies under ER 1-94 of the EPIRA Law, can be very well used to sustainably manage the natural resources in their Ancestral Domain Areas.
Organizers and participants during the IEC campaign for the implementation of amended ER 1-94 Program held in Cagayan de Oro City. (Photo credit: Department of Energy - REAMD-EPIMB)
FPE provided support for the conduct of a national consultation (06 March 2019) on the draft circular “Prescribing 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. DC2018-03-000” and was attended by different Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPOs) and other stakeholders. Eventually, DoE issued the final circular DC 2019-06-0010 obligating Generation Facilities and/or Energy Resources to provide the financial benefits to its host IP community. ER 1-94 hold a lot of promise since these benefits can be used to fund projects on livelihood and community development, reforestation, watershed management, climate change resilience, health service enhancement, and public service facilities.
Under Department Circular, DC2018-08-0021, the Generation Company and/or Energy Resource Developer are required to set aside one centavo per kilowatt hour (0.01/kWh) of electricity sales as financial benefit. 25% of the one centavo per kilowatt hour (or 0.0025/kWh) from the electricity sales shall be allocated to the Development and Livelihood Fund (DLF) and another 25% of the one centavo per kilowatt hour (or 0.0025/kWh) shall be allocated to the Reforestation, Watershed Management, Health and/or Environment Enhancement Fund (RWMHEEF). Furthermore, host ICC/IPs will get 5% of the DLF and the RWMHEEF.
FPE stands committed to its initiatives and actions in BCSD as it also remains steadfast in its IP policy advocacy. With DoE as a new ally, the proper implementation of ER 1-94 will redound to the concrete recognition of IP rights as well as they receive benefits from their role as stewards of watersheds that provide many environmental services to the larger community and the economy.
For more stories, click here to access the FPE 2019 Annual Report