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ENVIRONMENT IMPACT

La Union bishop joins fight vs coal plant

/ 05:00 AM February 07, 2019

NORTHERN PLAYGROUND San Juan town in La Union province is among the popular beach destinations in northern Luzon. Environmental advocates, however, fear that the province’s waters will suffer from pollution once a coal-fired power plant operates in several villages in Luna town. —WILLIE LOMIBAO

SAN FERNANDO CITY — The bishop and the clergy of the Catholic diocese here have opposed the proposed coal-fired power plant in Luna town, La Union province.

In a manifesto read in all Masses in the province recently, Bishop Daniel Oca Presto said the clergy could not support the construction of the plant, noting that it would destroy the environment.

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The 670-megawatt coal-fired power plant will be built by Global Luzon Energy Development Corp. in a 41-hectare area straddling the coastal villages of Carisquis and Nalvo Sur in Luna.

The project site is located near beach resorts and the 3-kilometer stretch of pebble beach, where the 400-year-old Spanish “baluarte” (watchtower) stands.

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Stewards

“We are therefore issuing this manifesto to express our common stand of unacceptance and to explain what we firmly hold on to as the basis of our decision,” Presto said.

He said no one had “absolute sovereignty to do what he or she pleases over creations, especially exploiting it for the benefit of the few.”

“Instead, as good and faithful stewards, we should take good care of a creation and leave it in condition even better than when it was found,” Presto said.

He added: “We consider ourselves accountable and responsible in passing the same as a common heritage of the next generations. As much as we are able to do, we prevent disasters from happening.”

More good

Earlier, Luna Mayor Victor Marvin Marron said the power plant would bring more good than harm to the town, noting that it would bring stable supply of electricity and create jobs.

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Marron said he was assured by the proponent that the plant would implement environmental protection measures to ensure that its operation would not affect marine life and agriculture.

Jen Palaroan, a Luna native who works in a grocery store in San Fernando City, said: “A coal plant will ruin our beautiful town and will cause health problems. I will do everything to oppose it.”

Presto asked the power plant proponent to explore other ways of cheaper sources of energy that were available and beneficial.  —REPORTS FROM GABRIEL CARDINOZA AND GOBLETH MOULIC, CONTRIBUTOR

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TAGS: Global Luzon Energy Development Corp. in, La Union coal-fired power plant
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