Davao IP tribe awards Hedcor for advancing its community
The Indigenous Peoples’ Bagobo-Tagabawa recognized the hydropower firm Hedcor as “Vanguard of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Welfare” for its vast contributions to the tribal communities in Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur.
The award was part of the Municipality of Sta. Cruz’s first ever Datu Tongkaling Awards named after Datu Tongkaling who was a gallant leader of the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe. Datu Tongkaling exhibited his leadership through maintaining peace among his people and for bringing progress to the community.
Datu Gideon Tolentino, a tribal chieftain cites a similar reason as to why such honor was granted to Hedcor. “[Hedcor] continuously contributes to the community’s progress. Their generation’s monetary shares help us fund our programs.”
“With Hedcor harnessing the Sibulan river, we now have the generation shares. We use these monetary shares especially for our tribe’s culture, such as through scholarships. Our scholars help organize activities that help us preserve our culture and traditions” Datu Gideon adds, “Hedcor is granted the award because they really are a big help to the community.”
On top of the generation shares which grants them one centavo for every kilowatt-hour generated by Hedcor, the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe also benefits from Hedcor’s Corporate Social Responsibility activities focusing on education, health, and enterprise development, among others.
The awardees were carefully selected by the council of elders within the ancestral domain. According to Elvira Lim, Municipality of Sta. Cruz’s Indigenous Peoples Representative, Hedcor was the first and only company among the nine awardees to receive such recognition.
Aside from Hedcor group, Hedcor’s Liaison Officer Christe Torres was also awarded the Datu Tongkaling Award for her contributions in promoting the Bagobo-Tagabawa’s culture.
Torres shared on a Facebook post that she did not foresee this recognition. She added that the trust of the Bagobo-Tagabawa has led Hedcor to render generous and sincere partnership with the community.
Through continuous collaboration, Hedcor’s facilities in the Municipality of Sta. Cruz now contributes a total gross capacity of 57.37MW of clean and renewable energy to both Davao City and Davao del Sur--a feat Hedcor attributes to its host barangay Sibulan and the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe.