Friday, June 10, 2011
THE Catholic Church and environment groups in the province demand that the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) should stop the operation of its geothermal power plant in Bago City and return Mt. Kanlaon to the people of Negros.
In an urgent appeal to President Benigno Aquino III, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Energy secretaries and the provincial officials, the church and the environmentalist groups reiterated their resistance to the geothermal power project of EDC, demanding Republic Act 9154 or the Mt. Kanlaon National Law be scrapped.
In a press conference yesterdays, the groups Social Action Center of the Diocese of Bacolod, Dawn Foundation and Negros Environment Watch said that in spite of numerous technical and scientific studies, actual explorations and drilling, and site development projects, such geothermal project has still not produced electricity for the benefit of the people of Negros.
The groups said the power plant permanently altered the landscape and territorial boundaries of Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park (MKNP) considering the geothermal plant had cut down thousands of endgandered forest trees, destroyed and dislocated countless wild flora and fauna, and contaminated the upland waterways with toxic effluents.
The groups called for the President to order the current secretaries of DOE and DENR to immediately stop the operations of EDC at the MKNP and initiate a comprehensive audit of the geothermal project.
They also called for the governor and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to rescind its MOA with PNOC-EDC for the latter’s violations of the agreement.
Further, they called on Negros solons to initiate legislative reforms and support actions that will scrap or amend RA 9154, deleting dubious provisions, especially on the buffer zone and those giving EDC instant membership in the Protected Area Management Board and reverting the original boundary of MKNP.
EDC has announced that they will shut down anew the operation of its Northern Negros Geothermal Power Plant (NNGPP) in Bago City on July until December this year to give way to the survey to locate potential productive areas to get the target power generation capacity of 49 megawatts. (Teresa Ellera-Dulla)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 10, 2011.
Sun.Star on social media