MGI & UPLB Ink Watershed Protection MOU
March 6, 2012
Maibarara Geothermal, Inc. (MGI) signed on March 1, 2012 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) for the proper and effective watershed management in the Maibarara service contract area centered in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.
MGI is developing an integrated 20 MW steamfield and power plant facility in the service contract area which covers portions of the Makiling Forest Reserve (MFR) but all the power infrastructure development is outside the forest reserve. UPLB, on the other hand, has control, jurisdiction and administration of the MFR by virtue of Republic Act 6967.
Under the MOU, MGI will extend financial and logistical assistance for UPLB’s watershed research and reforestation activities while UPLB will assist MGI in watershed rehabilitation, management, and information campaigns. The MOU was signed by MGI President F.G. Delfin, Jr. and UPLB Chancellor Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz and witnessed by DOE Undersecretary Jose M. Layug Jr. and UPLB Dean Dr. Juan M. Pulhin of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources.
“Although none of our project facilities will be inside the forest reserve, MGI is delighted to work with UPLB in ensuring a healthy watershed in our service contract area which is vital to groundwater recharge and sustainability of the geothermal reservoir,” MGI President Delfin declared. UPLB Chancellor Dr. Cruz welcomed the signing of the MOU and said MGI’s partnership and assistance will be helpful to UPLB in fulfilling its mandate under RA 6967 to protect and conserve the MFR not just for its ecological value but as a natural training laboratory for research, teaching, and extension services. “This MOU demonstrates how renewable energy development advances the cause of environmental protection in the country,” DOE Undersecretary Layug stated. He further commended MGI, UP, and UPLB officials in crafting the MOU and sharing resources that will help the government achieve the twin goals of energy security and sustainable development.