Saturday, 01 October 2011 11:25
Thousands of people attended the second Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) public consultation sponsored by the San Ramon Power Inc. (SRPI) at the multipurpose hall of the Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport Authority in barangay Talisayan, this city.
Residents comprising different sectors from as far as barangays Bolong, Sangali, Mercedes, Culianan, Manicahan, Boalan and Putik in the east coast and Labuan,, Sinubung, Ayala , Cawit, Patalon and other barangays in the west coast filled the hall purposely to learn and gain knowledge about the operations of the coal plant and the environmental hazards it might bring.
Despite their continuous public forum, there are still many people who opposed to the construction of the 100 megawatt coal plant including Talisayan barangay chair Josephine Pareja, Councilor Jawo Jimenez, members of the Akbayan group and others.
In a press conference, SRPI vice president for business development Joseph Nocos expressed elation on the huge attendance saying the consultation is one way of understanding the pros and cons of the issues at hand.
Nocos pointed out that no amount of grumblings by the misinformed opposition could derail the project which will cost the SRPI a whooping P11 billion ($280 million).
He said team of experts were present in the fora to asses how they answered and provided the information to the people.
“We hope to get the nod of the experts for the approval of our ECC and permit to operate the plant in this city,” Nocos said.
Nocos stressed that once they will have the permit, it will be all systems go for the putting up of the coal plant inside the ecozone.
Apprehensions were also raised by the oppositors that the coal plant will affect the water supply in the barangays and the ocean because it will use sea water and fresh water from the Saaz River.
Nocos said the plant will use sea and fresh water for three reasons. 1) sea water will be used for cooling of the boilers 2) the use of around 16.5 cubic meters of fresh water will be taken at the mouth of the river for production and domestic like drinking and washing.
He said the plant is modern and all safety measures have already been taken in consideration to address the apprehensions aired by the people who are still “misinformed”.
“Right now the people are seeing an abstract vision. They are only getting their information from the internet. We want them to see and visualize of our modern coal plant if indeed it is destroying and detrimental to the environment,” Nocos said.
By Nonong Santiago
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