Coal plant foes: Protests futile but to continue

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10:39 PM January 30th, 2013

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January 30th, 2013 10:39 PM

GENERAL SANTOS CITY—Protests against the coal-fired power plant being built in Maasim, Sarangani province, would not stop the completion of the project, a priest involved in the mass actions admitted on Tuesday.

But Fr. Rey Ondap, head of the Justice and Peace for Integrity of Creation (JPIC) program of the Passionist congregation, told the Inquirer that the protests, similar to the one recently held in Maasim, were enough to get their message across that the project remains unacceptable to most residents.

Just this week, about 1,500 protesters converged near the site of the 200-megawatt coal-fired plant being built by the Sarangani Energy Corp. (SEC), a subsidiary of the Alcantara Group of Companies, in Maasim, and denounced the project.

Nicandro Focoy, SEC project manager, said the project remains on track and would be completed in two years.

Even before the project started, the SEC signed a power supply contract with the South Cotabato II Electric Coop. (Socoteco II).

The contract requires SEC to sell 70 MW of electricity to Socoteco II. Ondap said protesters will not relent but realize that there’s no stopping the plant now. Aquiles Z. Zonio, Inquirer Mindanao

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