EDC in geothermal project accused of environmental abuse

By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON CITY, 23April2015 (BicolToday.com) – The environmental programs that the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) implemented as a counter measure of its geothermal exploration in Bacon-Manito field was not enough as it was scored by people’s organization in their protest action Wednesday, sending their petition to the office of the city mayor that underlines their concerns. The protest action coincided with the celebration of Earth Day.

The group, PUMALAG acronym for “Pinag-isang Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Lason Goethermal” called for an independent body to tackle the problems from the geothermal operations taking health, livelihood, their rights to access in the hinterlands and the long term productivity of communities affected, and to adhere  the environmental regulations.

They called to halt the drilling operations that cleared large forest areas, reasoning that it causes flooding that affected residents of Barangay Rizal.

They said that the geothermal exploration has caused the drying up of rivers and streams at Tanawon-Botong, the lake on the upper part of Mt. Pulog in Upper Sta. Cruz Bacon is drying up. It also called attention to the present condition of the Cawayan River. They made mention of the cut logs that were washed-up after the recent typhoon reaching Barangay Gimaloto traceable to EDC clearing operations.

In their petition, they said that water and air within the proximity of EDC operations are becoming health hazards, communities are now suffering from skin problems which could not be treated by over the counter medicines, water sources are becoming contaminated. Implying that their agricultural produce suffered and the low production of “palay” is traceable to the depletion of the water flowing in the irrigation canals that sources it from the rivers and streams in the upper parts of the EDC reservation.

The sticky allegation of PUMALAG may tied the hands of EDC for at the city council, a committee report pictured a negative image for the geothermal operation even calling for legal action against the corporate concern of the Lopezes here though it remains to be done.

The council judicial action may seek an issuance of a writ of Kalikasan after the findings points to environmental destruction’s in certain areas within the reserve of EDC.

The clarification on the usage of earth fill materials when it was granted a quarry permit at Barangay Osiao, Bacon District approved for ten thousand cubic meters extractions is another concern for them. The permit was issued to EDC-BGPF under care of Liberato Virata.

The appearance of EDC at the council did not alter the negatives reports of the environment committee who conducted an ocular inspection after receiving numerous complaints from residents of Barangay Osiao and from host communities of the west district.

The city government environment stands for the protection of the environment and time and again called the attention of EDC to review policies and implement new strategies to preserve the environment balance with development. [BicolToday.com]

Posted by on April 23, 2015. Filed under Bicol News,Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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