Youth group disputes proposed Zambo power plant

By Jewel Reyes, ABS-CBN Zamboanga

Posted at Jun 11 2011 11:45 AM | Updated as of Jun 11 2011 07:45 PM

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Members of Akbayan Youth conducted protests against the proposed operation of a coal fired power plant in Zamboanga City.

The protest rally was conducted at the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority in Sitio San Ramon, the site where the plant is expected to be constructed.

Grace Baylon, Secretary General for Akbayan Youth, said the rally is a way of sending a message to the local government officials to reconsider their position on the issue.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod earlier passed a no-objection resolution favoring the establishment of a coal fired power plant by the Conal Holdings Corporation.

Simone Medson, youth leader of the Danish Social Development, said her group and Akbayan have united to educate people on global warming.

"No matter what they say about how environmentally innovated the coal fired power plants nowadays, it still contributes to burning and pollution," she said.

Joseph Nocos, Vice President for Business Development of Conal Holdings, however, said that everyone is entitled to his own opinion. He assured that the proposed construction will submit the requirements imposed by the different government agencies.

A site survey is currently being conducted in a 60-hectare lot leased to Conal Holdings Corporation managed by Zambo Ecozone.

Nocos said this is part of their soil study if the site is feasible for the proposed construction.

Akbayan said their group and other cause-oriented groups vow to block the operation of a coal fired power plant in Zamboanga.

The groups call on local government officials to consider other alternative sources of energy to augment the energy deficiency in the region.