March 29, 2009

A win-win proposition for the coal power plant debate in Sarangani

I originally posted this as a comment to one of the blogs I encountered a couple of days ago. But somehow my comment got lost along the way and never got itself published, so I might as well just put it in my own blog. The comment, of course, was a lot shorter than this.

The context was the frequent brownouts (power curtailments) this region of Mindanao is currently experiencing. Some sectors are forecasting dire times ahead as the energy needs of Mindanao are climbing rapidly for power supply to catchup; hence the need for more investments in power infrastructures -- e.g. power plants.

Now, we all know that a coal-fired power plant is to be put up in Barangay Kamanga in the town of Maasim, Sarangani Province. Project proponent Conal Holdings Corp. (a company partly owned by the local Alcantara Group), in trying to allay fears of environmental havoc, has been assuring the public that a cleaner technology will be utilized for the plant's operations. Environmentalists and their allies, of course, are not about to buy the idea. Needless to say, two opposing sectors are currently slugging it out to win the hearts and minds of the public and the government who, in the final analysis, have the final say whether the power plant pushes through or not.

Last Sunday, I came across a feature article in the Inquirer Mindanao section of PDI, which contained one of the most interesting and witty proposals which, for me, can finally end the debate. This came from one Chris Dearne, an English conservationist based in General Santos City, who was quoted in the article as having "...dared the company (Conal Holdings) to put up the facility (coal power plant) side by side with the sprawling aquamarine farms of the Alcantara family in Alabel if it believes that it is really environmentally safe." (A. Zonio. "Saving Sarangani Bay's coral reefs" Philippine Daily Inquirer, 24(104): A19, March 22, 2009).

I know the above proposition may have been thrown in sarcasm, but don't you think it's a fairly brilliant idea?


  1. this reminds me of the bataan nuclear power plant and the dilemma it brought the people.

    and then, there's this same situation and dilemma in mindanao pla, one which affects us. hmm.

    i also wondered what have caused the consecutive brownouts, yun pala yun.

    personally, brilliant nga yung proposal, i think im an "environmentalist" din ata. pero yun nga, dilemma parin yun. there's the concept of acceptable risk - that's if the people are willing to sacrifice something for the common good or if they want to tolerate a risk to avoid a greater risk.. hmmm

  2. hard choices nga talaga, rai... thanks for visiting :)