First Gen-owned renewable energy leader Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) Mount Apo Geothermal Project (MAGP) received the ASEAN OSHNET Excellence Award, the highest occupational safety and health award given by the ASEAN Occupational Safety and Health Network, for the project’s painstaking efforts to keep its employees whole and thriving.
EDC is the lone company from the Philippines that was given this recognition along with eight other companies from other ASEAN member countries. The awarding ceremony was held virtually from Vientiane, Lao PDR with the labor and safety ministries and departments of the member states in attendance.
Engr. Romeo Kee, head of EDC’s MAGP, received the award on behalf of the project’s team. “We are truly honored and grateful for this recognition, especially since health and safety has taken on a whole new meaning for us from the time the pandemic began last year. It is now not only about ensuring zero accidents in the workplace but also about protecting our employees and contractors from COVID-19,” said Kee.
EDC–MAGP’s Facility Admin and Environment Services (FAES) Head and Safety Officer Eduardo Morales shared the company’s exemplary health, safety and environment program during the event along with Field Environmental Management and Safety Officer Joel Handugan.
“All of us EDC employees own safety. It is a part of our culture,” EDC president and chief operating officer Richard B. Tantoco said in a video that they showed to the audience in reference to the utmost importance that the company gives to the health and safety of its employees and contractors.
HSE is crucial to fulfilling EDC’s revitalized mission to forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future, which the company and the rest of the Lopez group have declared in 2020.
Their new chosen path aims to elevate everything that impacts their operations—from the environment, to communities, customers, employees and contractors, and investors—to create exponential positive impact to the planet and to society.
Among the company’s key strategies to be a step ahead of the pandemic was to shift to work from home arrangements for its office-based employees even before the Metro Manila lockdowns began in March 2020. A shelter-in-place arrangement was also implemented in EDC’s power plants that allowed teams to safely work in bubbles as they run their facilities to provide an uninterrupted source of clean, reliable 24/7 power to their power customers amidst the health and economic crisis.
EDC–MAGP previously received an automatic nomination from the Philippine OSH Center as the National Occupational Safety and Health Champion at the 11th Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan in 2019. Both Morales and Handugan won a National Silver Award for the individual category for their significant accomplishments and contributions to MAGP’s OSH initiatives in the same year.
EDC’s over 1,480MW total installed capacity accounts for 20% percent of the country’s total installed RE capacity. MAGP generates 108MW of its total 1,181MW geothermal portfolio that 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.