Atimonan community gets boost from power project amid COVID-19 woes

Atimonan, Quezon—Atimonan One Energy (A1E), a subsidiary of Meralco PowerGen Corporation (MGen), the developer of the 2x600-MW power station in Atimonan, Quezon, is pulling all the stops to provide material and financial support to the local government of Atimonan and its host barangay.

Atimonan community gets boost from power project amid COVID-19 woes

Hounded by the closure of businesses, loss of jobs and limited employment opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, communities like Atimonan are finding their citizens hard-pressed to get out in the field to earn money that will help them support their families. 

With the help of its project contractors, A1E has taken on the challenge to pool together resources for the community over the past 10 months.  

Jobs above all

Topping the list of benefits are employment opportunities that the project opened up. A1E contractors Synergy Construction Corp., Rexsun Development and Consulting Inc., Delta Earthmoving, Inc., Betonbau Philippines, Inc., and Sta. Clara International Corp. have directly recruited 336 Atimonanins, who represent more than 50% of the total workforce for the project’s ongoing site preparation activities.

These are composed of skilled and unskilled workers such as laborers, steel men, carpenters, masons, scaffolders, drivers, and heavy equipment operators.  

“I am happy that A1E gave me the opportunity to be trained as a scaffolder,” said Jose Trapalgar from Barangay Villa Ibaba. Right now, I am receiving more than Php500.00 daily and I’m able to meet the needs of my family. The 58-year-old fisherman completed skills training for professional scaffolders organized by A1E. 

Renante Cavestany was hired by Delta as dump truck driver. Prior to this job, the 49-year-old he worked as a driver in an infrastructure project supervised by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“This job made it possible to provide for the needs of my family and be with them at the same time,” said Renante.  

Shot in the arm for local businesses

On top of their basic wage, workers also get benefits including insurance. 

Atimonan also enjoys other economic benefits including a boost in local employment and additional income from payment of local business tax and real property tax. 

Local businesses have been getting more customers with the presence of contractors and their workers in the municipality. Suppliers of raw materials, providers of food, transportation, and other goods and services are likewise benefiting from the A1E’s project. 

Eyeing smart community status

MGen president and CEO Rogelio L. Singson vowed to transform the municipality into a progressive and smart community. Among the efforts made by MGen and A1E was the facilitation of the development of a Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) for the municipality. 

“We put the local community at the heart of what we do and we want to ensure that as our projects progress, our communities grow and develop with us,” said Mr. Singson. 

Site development activities at the power station started in 2018 and at the peak of construction, the project is expected to result in the hiring of approximately 3,000-5,000 people. Around 300 regular employees will be needed once the plant becomes operational. 

Topics: Atimonan One Energy , Meralco PowerGen Corporation , Jose Trapalgar
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