Wednesday, September 21, 2011
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 21, 2011) - Environmental activists decried the issuance of an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) to Aboitiz Power Corporation (APC) for a proposed 300 MW coal-fired power plant in Davao City in the southern Philippines.
Dr. Jean Lindo, co-convener of the group called Network Opposed to Coal-Fired Power Plant-Davao, said the power plant would be constructed in the coastal villages of Binugao and Inawayan.
Lindo also questioned the Environmental Management Bureau’s issuance of the ECC despite doubts raised by the environmentalists on the impact analysis of Aboitiz’s coal plant proposal made in July.
“This is a clear case of railroading the Environmental Impact Assessment process and we decry the EMB’s politics of accommodation and utter disregard of the people’s health and environmental safety,” Lindo said, adding the agency, Apercu, contracted by Aboitiz to do study admitted that there was no health impact study conducted yet.
“As an environmentally critical project, the coal plant proposal must undergo thorough scrutiny and must involve the stakeholders in the decision making. The EMB has no basis in giving out an ECC especially amidst the concern about the freshwater consumption of the coal plant, and given that the proponent has, to date, not provided any substantial health impact assessment, which is crucial in the EIA process, that Aboitiz as proponent is duty-bound to provide,” Lindo said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.
Villagers in Inawayan also claimed that they were not informed of the negative impacts of the coal plant to the environment and their health.
“Although international standards demand a comprehensive assessment of biological, ecological, economic and hydrological impacts of the project, in third world countries where patronage politics influence the acceptability of projects, the EIA process is more often than not railroaded,” Lindo said.