Alcantara Power Project Passes Review

Mindanao-focused Alcantara Group's Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) passed a recent round of stringent tripartite review of its compliance with government and international standards for safety control and emergency preparedness, industrial hygiene, occupational health, environmental protection and community relations.

The Department of Labor and Employment's Occupational and Health Safety Center (DOLE-OSHC) said an official review and actual inspection of its facilities by a tripartite panel confirmed WMPC's zero accident record and improved productivity because of an effective occupational safety and health (OSH) program in the past two years.

OSHC Executive Director Ma. Teresita Cucueco said the standards that WMPC complied with included nine OSH standards for safety control and emergency preparedness; seven OSH standards and a law on industrial hygiene and waste management; six OSH standards, three laws, six Labor Department and national government directives on health promotion in the workplace, and two laws on environmental protection, including the Clean Air Act; and DOLE standards for ensuring healthy relations between industries and communities.

The Zamboanga-based Alcantara Group power company was awarded the DOLE Secretary's Award of Distinction for Institutional Category during the 8th Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan (GKK) at the OSHC office in Quezon City last December 5. The GKK is given every two years by DOLE as a component of the Zero Accident Program, part of its efforts to enhance social protection programs - the eighth of the 22-point labor agenda of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

The plant was cited for its "efforts in the area of occupational safety and health, worthy of emulation by companies nationwide. The WMPC diesel-fired plant was the first power plant in the Philippines to be equipped with a desulfurization oxide facility designed to reduce sulfur exhaust emissions. Among the health and safety measures regularly practiced by the plant are emergency preparedness and response measures for scenarios ranging from workplace injuries, fires, and earthquakes, to oil and chemical spills, excessive gas emissions, bomb threats, and terrorist attacks. All WMPC employees are provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment to ensure workplace safety.

The WMPC runs a comprehensive employee health program which includes preventive measures such as screening and vaccinations. Its industrial hygiene program encompasses solid waste management and segregation of non-biodegradable and hazardous waste materials. Under a Memorandum of Agreement with the Environmental Management Bureau, WMPC helps maintain the sustainability and diversity of the nearby Manicahan river through regular river clean ups. The plant also conducts regular water sampling of the Pamingitan creek and Malasugat Bay to help protect the marine flora and fauna in these nearby water bodies. The WMPC facility is an ISO 14001:2004 Certified Power Plant for its Environmental Management System and ISO 9002 certified for its Quality Management System.

Aside from the 100-MW diesel plant operated by the WMPC in Zamboanga City, the Alcantara Group is developing a 100-MW power plant in San Ramon, Talisayan Zamboanga City that is targeted to be operational by 2016 and a 200-MW power facility in Maasim, Sarangani that will have its first phase operating by 2015. The Alcantara Group also operates the 55-MW Southern Philippines Power Corporation (SPPC) diesel plant in Alabel, Sarangani.

The Alcantara Group is in the process of reacquiring the 102-MW Iligan Diesel Plant from the City of Iligan. The Iligan Plant will be rehabilitated and re-operated in order to help alleviate the current power crisis in Mindanao.

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