By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
BULUSAN, Sorsogon (BicolToday.com/24 Nov. 2011) – For now, the environmental groups in Bulusan town opposing the exploration of the 3,673.29 hectares protected area of the Bulusan Volcano National Park (BVNP) won the round against the Department of Energy and its exploratory partner, Summa Kumagai Geothermal, a subsidiary of Summa Kumagai Industries when the Sangguniang Bayan approved unanimously on November 14, Resolution No. 55-2011 that prohibits geothermal project and exploration within its territory co-authored by Councilors Celestino Frades and Pedro Frando. The knot of victory came after the intense pressure applied by the multi-sectoral group of Bulusan who expounded their opposition to the project with the help of social networking sites.
Using as basis for the resolution was RA 7586 , the National Integrated Protected Area System Act, (NIPAS Act) their Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the ecotourism strategy, and strong opposition by Buluseños to geothermal exploration works manifested during the public consultation where the local government succumbs to the clamor of its constituents to thumbs down geothermal activity.
This development is another blow to DOE who is primarily tasked to locate and develop fossil energy to meet the demands of the country energy needs by 2030 and lessen dependence on imported fuels on the heels of the parallel action which might be issued by the Sangguniang Bayan of Irosin who witnessed a strong protest action against exploratory works under the coalition of the town ngo’s and the Bulusan environmentalist. Only the town of Juban allowed exploratory works so far. But given their mandate, DOE in their previous statement, will continue to conduct dialog and information drive to re-assure that geothermal energy is develop not to destroy the environment but within the framework of sustainable development. BicolToday.com
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