Green group to stop Cebu oil exploration
Environmentalists in Cebu will file a petition against the oil exploration conducted in barangay Olango, Aloguinsan town in midwestern Cebu.
The Philippine Earth Justice Center (PEJC) represented by lawyer and Cebu Daily News columnistGloria Ramos said that they are willing to take the case to court and into the streets if the local government will allow the production test to be conducted by the Australian firm, Gas2Grid Ltd.
Ramos said they are dismayed at how the local government of Aloguinsan expressed elation over the ongoing oil exploration in their area, and is unaware of the possible negative effects it may bring to their health and the environment.
Ramos also questioned how the operation had only been known when the company discovered an oil deposits in the area. Gas2Grid had been operating since 2004.
Ramos and the rest of the environmentalists in Cebu were very visible in fighting against the oil exploration in Tañon Strait in 2007.
Ramos said that the effect of the oil exploration in the area may not be visible yet, but it will be the residents of Cebu who will suffer the effects in the future.
She said embracing the oil exploration for job generation and for attracting investors is not the way to sustainable development.
Eddie Llamedo, the Energy Department’s public information officer has a different view.
Llamedo said oil exploration in general does not have a huge effect to the environment.
“Oil exploration for energy, least ra gyud ni sya ug kadaut sa environment kay kaning exploration wala pa man ka sa commercial stage or sa development stage niya. Kanang exploration, mag-drilling. Mag-determine sa viability sa maong deposit,” Llamedo said.
He however assured that the government agency will monitor and make sure that the company has the proper equipment and experts in case an oil spill will happen in the process.
He said that this is a common risk for oil exploration.
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