It’s almost impossible to think of Ilocos Sur without being drawn to its old-world charm. But there’s definitely more to it than the much-loved Vigan City, which has since been famous for its heritage village.
The landlocked municipality of Alilem – a couple of hours south of Vigan – may not have as much picturesque Hispanic architecture similar to its more popular neighbors, but it has been contributing much more as the world faces the challenge of environmental conservation.
This quiet little town, since 1997, has been the host of the Bakun AC hydro project of Luzon Hydro Corporation (LHC), an affiliate of AboitizPower subsidiary Hedcor. For over 20 years now, Alilem has been taking pride in being home to this 70-megawatt (MW) power generation facility that delivers Cleanergy, AboitizPower’s brand for clean and renewable energy, to the Luzon grid.
In his speech at this year’s Alilem town fiesta, Mayor Mar Ruel Sumabat shared how Bakun AC benefitted their community.
“Alilem would not be what it is today if not for the Bakun AC hydro project. We are humbled by the solid support of AboitizPower, Hedcor, and Luzon Hydro Corporation for our community since the project was still in the construction phase up until today. They are the reason why this small town has been soaring high and making waves in every aspect of development,” Sumabat said.
Apart from the significant economic contribution of Bakun AC hydro to the community, AboitizPower has been working closely with the local government of Alilem for various corporate social responsibility projects focused on education, health, livelihood, and environment, among others. In the last three years, Hedcor has delivered on its committed community projects for Alilem amounting to Php9.2 million.
“We are proud to be a partner of an organization that has a purpose of not only growing the business and powering progress in its host communities, but also has a sincere concern for the environment,” Sumabat added.
Hedcor President and COO Carlos Aboitiz said the partnership between AboitizPower and Alilem shows that the environment and the community can co-exist with infrastructure and economic development, as long as trust and true partnership exist.
Key to this is the mindset of AboitizPower that they are not merely investors in a locality –they are also members of the community, a neighbor, and a partner.
“Our Cleanergy portfolio would not have been successful without the support of the communities where we operate. As we continue to grow our renewables to promote a more sustainable energy option, we recognize the invaluable role of our partners in allowing us to make a difference in their communities, so that they, too, can make a difference in more people’s lives,” Aboitiz said.
As Alilem continues to grow as a community and its population increases over time, both Mayor Sumabat and Aboitiz recognize the role of their strong partnership in continuously advancing business and communities.
“We don’t view ourselves merely as power plant operators, but as productive members of a larger community. We are here to play our role in helping power the growth of Alilem and in helping the community realize its aspirations,” Aboitiz said.