DAVAO CITY – In commemoration of the 30th EDSA People Power Revolution, environmental groups here exercised people power to call for the closure of the coal-fired power plant in Binugao, Toril.
Bayan Muna Southern Mindanao, Panalipdan, and No To Coal launched a protest Thursday to drumbeat the ill effects of the coal-fired power plants on the environment and the nearby residents as well its failure to alleviate the power crisis in the region.
Panalipdan Southern Mindanao Executive Secretary Kim Gargar said the construction of the coal-fired power plant did not solve the electricity deficit in the region. In fact, rotating brownouts became more frequent and longer since the operation of the power plant.
“Ingon sila kaniadto nga pagmatukod na na, wala nay brownout pero ngano man nga sukad niandar na, ni grabe na hinuon ang brownout,” he said.
(They (TSI) said there will no longer be brownouts when the power plants start operating but since it became functional, brownout worsened.)
He said they used the power shortage in the region as an excuse so they can put up the power plant to be utilized for mining activities.
“Kay daghan man karon ang giopen-up nga mga mining projects diri sa Davao Region so mao na kinahanglan pud nila magtukod og planta para naay kuryente ang mga makina didto sa mga mining corporation.,” he added.
(Because there are a lot of mining projects in Davao Region, they need to build more plants to power up the machines they will be using in their mining operations.)
Gargar bared that there is also a plan to build another 160-Megawatt coal-fired power plant near the King-King Copper-Gold Project in Pantukan.
“Nagpakita gyud ni nga ang kaning coal-fired power plants, para gyud ni sila sa mga large-scale mining project sa mga langyaw,” he said.
“Mao na nganong sige gihapon og brownout kay dili man para sa mga residente ang kuryente nga ilang ginaproduce,” he added.
(The reason why there are still brownouts is because the power supply is not intended for the residents.)
Aside from that, several fishermen living near the plant and those in Inawayan, Toril were reportedly deprived of their livelihood because of the Therma South Inc.’s (TSI) plans to expand.
He said they are worried about the air and noise pollution that will be experienced by the communities in Sirawan and Binugao as well as in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.
“Karon pa lang nga pila ka bulan pa lang nga nag andar kini nga planta, panawagan na nato ang pagpasirado ani nga planta kay di ta gusto ng muabot ang panahon nga daghan ang mga mangamatay tungod sa kadaot sa hangin ug sa tubig diha,” said Gargar.
(We are calling for the closure of the power plant because we don’t want that many people will die because its adverse effects to air and water.)
On January 8, President Benigno Aquino III inaugurated a 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant of TSI located in Toril, Davao City, and Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.
| Published in 105.9 Balita FM Facebook page: Coal-fired power plant fails to solve power shortage, say envi, progressive groups, February 27, 2016