Coal plant project draws support
Despite being pregnant with her eighth child, 30-year-old Jesiebel Paluena joined 100 residents of Barangays Sawang Calero, Duljo Fatima, Suba and Pasil in showing support to the 300-MW Ludo coal plant project yesterday.
“Our barangay chairman who visited a coal plant in Pangasinan sponsored by Ludo assured us that it won’t harm us. We expect to benefit from the project with jobs and livelihood projects,” she told Cebu Daily News.
Yesterday’s rally came after last week’s rally by groups opposed to the project.
These groups called on the Cebu City government to look for renewable energy sources instead.
Archie Legaspi, a 39-year-old disaster management focal person who joined the trip to the coal plant project, said he was assured by a Ludo representative that they will employ better technology than the one used in the Pangasinan plant.
“Nahibong ko ngano moingon sila nga makadaot ang planta nga wala pa man. Ari na lang ta focus sa positive side (I wonder why they say that the coal plant is harmful. Let us focus instead on the positive side),” he said.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said while he isn’t against the coal plant project, a 300-MW coal plant is too much.
As far as he is concerned, the Ludo coal plant project is a “dead issue.”
“They own the property and they are entitled to make some economic value out of it, but 300 MW is too much. I am not against coal power plant, there are some 500 hectares in Cebu, why do they have to build it in the two-hectare populated area in Sawang Calero?” the mayor said.
Councilor Joel Garganera, who chairs the City Council environment committee, said he is meeting with representatives from the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources and Energy as well as those for and against the project.
While acknowledging that Metro Cebu needs power, Garganera said “the health, safety and well-being of the residents should be given priority.”
Garganera said the council wants a dialogue on the issue since it needs expert opinions and inputs from stakeholders on the project.
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