Residents of Sawang Calero and neighboring barangays in Cebu City cite health and environmental reasons as their main reason for opposing the project
CEBU CITY, Philippines (Apr. 20, 2016) — Residents of Sawang Calero and neighboring barangays in Cebu City met with officials from Ludo Power Corporation on Sunday, April 17, the company proposing to construct a coal plant here, to protest the project.
They cited health and environmental reasons as their main reason for opposing the project.
“Kamo mismo pwede mo makareklamo na inyong ipasira ang maong planta kung kini man gani nakalapas sa atong balaod” (Even you, residents, can also complain to close the power plant if in case it violates the law), Ludo’s community relations officer Nelson Yuvallos said during the consultation.
Groups lodged an online petition on Tuesday, April 12, to protest the construction of the plant. About 760 have signed the petition so far with a goal of 1,000 signatures.
About 5,000 residents attended the meeting.
Dr Marinela Harina told Rappler she opposed the project as “power plants release toxins that can really harm children.” She said the plant could slow cognitive development in young children.
The Cebu City Council’s committee on environment, chaired by Councilor Ma. Nida Cabrera, needs to decide whether or not to endorse Ludo Power Corp’s (LPC) proposed $500-million, 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant.
The project proponents explained safeguards in place would protect residents from pollution.
According to a report in Sun.Star Cebu, Rene Morente, a regulatory officer of Team Energy, said the proposed power plant would use advance technology and minimize the levels of pollution released into the atmosphere.
Its public relations arm told Sun.Star, “fly ash will be trapped by an electrostatic precipitator, then collected with the bottom ash for delivery to cement plants.”
But opponents are not convinced.
According to the petitioner against the plant, “it does nothing to abate the well-established consensus that coal will never be clean and that no existing technology can provide a 100% assurance of protection for the people whose lives will be affected by the use of coal energy.” The petition added it was “a fault which, in a public hearing, the representative of the Ludo Power Corporation had admitted to.”
Ludo said that they would conduct regular medical missions to ensure that residents living near the plant are healthy. Ludo said they would respect the decision of the city council if the project will not be approved.