Thursday, September 11, 2014

Protect Sarangani Keep its beauty

Exactly a year from now, P13 Billion Coal-Fired Power Plant by Alsons Consolidated Resources will be partially operational and will start distributing 105 MW of electricity to Southern and Central Mindanao. This plant was put up to alleviate the power shortage.   

But I don't think the people here specifically the locals of Sarangani will benefit from this coal-fired power plant. You cannot and should not end the shortage of electicity by compromising the health of the living both in land and in water. Electricity produced from coal-fired generators belch mercury, carbon dioxide, and sulfur into the air. For sure, due to pollution emitted by this plant, people and environment will suffer. No coal is clean! 

Sarangani is a Dive Haven and a portion of its municipal water has been proclaimed a protected area already by Presidential Proclamation No. 756, s. 1996. The coal-fired power plant located in Barangay Kamanga is just few meters away from the diverse marine life of Maasim. Sarangani Bay in general is rich in coastal resources which will be threatened by pollution from the plant.

Both natural and artificially grown corals were already destroyed due to the ongoing construction of this coal-fired power plant. The area is home to some of the best coral reefs. The Tinoto Wall is also one of the best and unspoiled dive spots in Mindanao that will slowly be destroyed if this construction continues. 

Currently, Environment Team from Region 12 are pushing for the passage of a proposed law that would establish the whole coastal waters of Sarangani Province as a protected seascape and not just part of it.

The bill, if approved, will make the entire 211,913-hectare Sarangani Bay as a protected seascape and will get appropriate funds from the national government yearly which will cover the management, protection, and conservation of the entire Sarangani Bay. 

I really hope this bill pushes through so as to have a formal organizational structure with a nearby office that will manage everything to protect the beautiful island of Sarangani. 

I believe the government of Sarangani and DENR are continuously monitoring this coal plant. They can work hand in hand with local and international divers to make sure no further harm is done. 

Protect Sarangani, Keep its beauty!