Lopez-led geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and the country’s premiere state-university, the University of the Philippines (UP), have formally continued its partnership as they inked the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the expanded Biodiversity Conservation and Monitoring Program (BCMP) III on 29 January 2021.
The continued partnership between EDC and UP, which started more than a decade ago, was formally sealed in a ceremonial MOA signing via Zoom, led by EDC President and Chief Operating Officer Richard B. Tantoco and UP Diliman Chancellor Dr. Fidel R. Nemenzo.
Tantoco said EDC has been an institution that has faith for UP and that it will continue to support the University in its endeavors especially for its science-based activities that aim to protect and conserve the environment.
“Now that we have such a propitious relationship, I am happy to extend and expand what we have into the future. Many discoveries have been made by our partnership and many more “best practices” will be developed, [and it] all started with chance encounters. And if we continue to work collaboratively, to conserve and understand the biodiversity that surrounds us, I cannot emphasize enough how much good our partnership can bring as we continue to look for ways to help Mother Earth,” Tantoco said.
The BCMP I and II, which started in 2008 and 2012, respectively, have so far resulted in greater knowledge and understanding of the rich flora and fauna that thrive within the EDC’s geothermal facilities including the Golden Flying Fox in Negros and Bicol, the tarsiers in Leyte, and the Philippine Eagle in Mt. Apo. For its third phase, which is scheduled to be implemented starting this year until 2024, the program will focus on Biodiversity Metrics, Flagship Species Initiative, Flora Conservation, Botanical Treasures and the establishment of the UP-Institute of Biology (UPIB)-EDC Biodiversity Hub.
Nemenzo, for his part, acknowledged the fruitful collaboration between the two institutions and recognized the benefits it brought not only to EDC but also to UP. Through the partnership, according to Nemenzo, UP was able to contribute to its mandate as a research and public service university. The UP Chancellor said he is looking forward to the productive years of the partnership.
Nemenzo, likewise, paid tribute to the pioneering works of three outstanding scientists — the late Dr. Perry Ong, Dr. Leonard Co, and Dr. Daniel Lagunsad — who paved the way for the partnership between UP and EDC and whose works are still of valuable contribution to the development of biodiversity conservation and monitoring.
“In the next year of this partnership, our hope is to honor what these pioneers have built and expand BCMP’s contribution to EDC, [to] UP, the science of biodiversity conservation and the wider Philippine society in general. Maramingsalamat, EDC, for your faith and trust in UP. I am excited to see the fruits of this collaboration and look forward to at least four more years of partnership between UP and EDC,” Nemenzo said during the ceremonial MOA signing held via Zoom.
EDC’s over 1,499MW total installed capacity accounts for 20% percent of the country’s total installed RE capacity while its 1,204.67MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the 3rd largest geothermal producer in the world.
(This article was first published in the Business World Website on February 5, 2021)