Envi Advovacates Warn of Environmentally Critical Projects

Davao City — Amidst the recent natural disasters, advocates warned that environmentally critical projects such as mining, nuclear plants, coal fired power plants, largescale mining among others could trigger worst man-made tragedies if the government and the people allow it.

“Natural disasters are made worse by the presence of capitalist’s profit – oriented projects that pose serious risks to the people and the environment. Now we are facing possible spread of radiation because of the nuclear radiation leak after a nuclear power plant exploded in the wake of the Japan tsunami incident,” said Francis Morales, secretary general of the environmental rights group, PANALIPDAN Southern Mindanao, convener of the  Network Opposed to Coal Fired Power Plants (NO to COAL – DAVAO)

In light of the recent tragedies, Morales urged the Davao City Council to junk the proposal of Aboitiz power corporation  to build a 300 mega-watt coal fired power plant (CFPP) in a 52.7 hectare property in Brgy. Binugao, Toril District, Davao City and Brgy. Inawayan, Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur.

“We must all unite in the global effort of reversing the impacts of man-made climate change. A typical 300 MW coal-fired utility burns 150 tons of coal per hour and it emits  1.8 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.   CFPPs mainly contribute to global warming and climate change which has tremendous impacts in agriculture, forestry, wetlands, rivers, watersheds, biodiversity, and communities. It will as well lead to the depletion of our freshwater sources,” said Morales.

Expert toxicologist, Dr. Romy Quijano from the University of the Philippines – Manila also warned of the government’s plan of reviving the decommissioned Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. He urged instead that “ the privatization of the power industry be reversed, and that sustainable, safe, and appropriate energy sources be built.”

“There is already a significant breach in the reactor core containment facilities, both immediate and secondary. There is no doubt that significant amounts of radioactivity had already been released into the open environment, exposing thousands of people within several kilometers radius. It is highly probable that this radiation pollution will worsen in the next few days and will most likely reach the Philippines,” said Quijano.

Morales added, “While apologists for harmful energy production have all the profit to gain, the poor and marginalized sectors are the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change and tragedies worsened by extractive and deadly sources of energy.”

In the 1st Committee Hearing on the proposed coal fired power plant of Aboitiz, yesterday, where Dr. Romy Quijano  presented the toxicology of coal, Quijano stressed that coal fired power plants have radioactivity that people should be warned  about. #


Francis Morales

secretary general

PANALIPDAN Southern Mindanao