Consunji-led integrated energy company Semirara Mining and Power Corp.’s (SMPC) royalty payments to the Department of Energy last year increased by 47 percent to P2.65 billion compared to the P1.8 billion paid in 2015.
Of the P2.65 billion, more than P1 billion will go to the local government units (LGUs) where SMPC operates under the 20 percent, 45 percent and 35 percent sharing between the province of Antique, municipality of Caluya and barangay Semirara, respectively.
“SMPC is committed to creating shared value for our stakeholders. Because of our partnership with the national government, we are able to generate growth that redounds to our host province, municipality and community,” Victor Consunji, SMPC president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.
The company said under the law, LGUs are entitled to a 40 percent share of royalty proceeds from petroleum, coal, geothermal, hydrothermal and wind resources.
SMPC also cited a Department of Budget and Management report released in June 2016 which showedits 2015 remittances accounted for 83 percent of the P2.2 billion total government royalty collections from energy resource and production.
Western Visayas, SMPC’s host region, received the biggest LGU share at nearly P725 million.
The company said since 1997, its accumulated royalty payments to the national government has exceeded P13.5 billion.
Earlier, SMPC also increased funds allocated for its host community projects this year to P320 million in line with programs intended to reduce poverty and facilitate development in host communities.
“We expect our CSR (corporate social responsibility) spending to grow by around 75 percent compared to last year’s P186 million because we are building more community infrastructure and livelihood facilities,” Consunjisaid recently.
The company noted majority of the planned expenditure or about P200 million will be used to construct community and livelihood facilities such as evacuation centers, community parks, sea ports, river walks and sports facilities.
Another P65 million will be spent on environmental stewardship projects, which include the establishment of a Semirara Biodiversity Center and progressive inland and mangrove area reforestation.
The rest of the CSR budget will fund community nutrition initiatives in Calaca, Batangas.
“We are closely working with the
Department of Energy and the host communities to ensure that our CSR efforts are aligned with the national and local government’s priorities. We want to implement projects that best respond to their needs,” Consunjisaid.
SMPC’s CSR program includes initiatives that address education and training; environmental stewardship; employment and livelihood; electrification and basic infrastructure as well as emergency preparedness.
At present, SMPC has a portfolio of over 800 megawatts of baseload power for the Luzon grid.