AboitizPower is committed to powering progress and energizing lives. We integrate environmental stewardship and stakeholder engagement into our operations. We work closely with our stakeholders to comply with pertinent laws, policies, and other requirements, minimizing our carbon footprint and mitigating the environmental impact of our operations, given the best and cost-effective applicable technologies.
When the permit to build the 300-MW baseload power plant in Davao was issued, the company’s subsidiary, Therma South Inc. (TSI), convened the Multi-partite Monitoring Team to ensure that Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) conditions are followed and met. We assured all the stakeholders that we would bring in the most modern facilities and would operate under the strictest environmental standards. The days of highly polluting coal plants were a thing of the past and would definitely not be tolerated under AboitizPower’s watch. After all, the Aboitiz Group has been a part of Davao and its growth for many decades, and we would not do anything that was not good for Davao.
The plant itself is designed according to the latest technological breakthrough in clean coal production. It uses the circulating fluidized bed combustion technology that minimizes emissions and ensures that the power plant meets the Philippine Clean Air Act standards. It also houses the country’s first coal dome, which provides a safe and efficient way to store coal fuel.
We actively pushed for the establishment of the Carbon Sink Management Program (CSMP), which aims to reforest 1,000 hectares of land within the Matigsalug Indigenous People’s ancestral domain in Marilog and Paquibato, Davao City. To ensure the success of the program, TSI tapped the Matigsalug tribe in Marilog District, about 50 kilometers from central Davao City, to plant 800 trees per hectare and make sure the seedlings grow and survive for 10 years.
Datu Juanito Mandahay, Chairman of the Matigsalug Council of Elders in Marilog, Davao City (MACOEMADACI), said that his tribe’s existence relied heavily on the forest and nature in general. “Tanan namo na panginahanglanon naa sa kinaiyahan (Everything we need can be found in nature),” he said.
He also said that he is saddened that his tribe’s existence has been threatened by the destruction of the forest and the land that they consider their ancestral domain.
The Matigsalug land was once the site of commercial logging activities, which forced tribe members to move out and abandon some cultural practices.
Pinaagi sa CSMP, ang TSI naningkamot na mabalik ang kinaiyahan, ug kami nalipay kay kini nagpasabot nga mabalik pud ang kapiskay sa among kultura (Through CSMP, TSI aims to bring back nature and we are happy because this means, our culture will be healthy again).
-Datu Juanito Mandahay, Chairman, MACOEMADACI
Aside from promoting the Matigsalug culture, the CSMP also allows participating tribal families to earn additional income by planting native tree seedlings and attending to them. Tribe members can also earn extra from the fruits of fruit trees they grow.
To date, 250 families of the Matigsalug tribe has planted 288 hectares of their ancestral land. The seedlings come from the TSI-assisted tree nursery that houses 860,000 seedlings of indigenous forest species.
As of the end of 2016, the CSMP has sequestered as much as 58,245 tons of carbon dioxide, which is 40% of TSI’s commitment to sequester 145,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2023.
To further augment the income of the tribe and to promote the Matigsalug culture, TSI sought the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to improve the skills and products of the indigenous folk.
The Matigsalugs are known for their colorful costumes and accessories, as well as their skills in basket-making. The DTI, together with the academe and the private sector, are looking for ways to enhance the tribal folk’s skills so that they would be able to come up with export quality products.
The CSMP is TSI’s flagship project for the environment, but it has also become a testament of AboitizPower’s commitment to helping its communities realize a better future.