Mayor wants straight answers from stakeholders

Valencia Mayor Edgar Y. Teves wanted straight answers from groups who questioned the proposed expansion project of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), if they want another public hearing, he is requiring each of the 11 barangays in the reservation area to send 100 residents to attend another public consultation to thresh out all their concerns and avoid further delays.

Teves was irked when a member of the socalled “Kinaiyahan” group commented that the public hearing in March this year at the Vega gymnasium in Valencia was not genuine, and that attendees are pre-positioned just to promote and to immediately endorse the project instead of asking questions.

Zeph Repollo of 350 Pilipinas welcomed the suggestion of Mayor Teves even as they await for the action to be taken by the Department of Environment on this matter. She said up to now, they have not received any invitation from the DENR.

Southern Negros Geothermal Project (SNGP)-EDC senior manager Vicente Omandam explained the proposed expansion project is within the 5,163 hectares existing development area and that the expansion is in terms of capacity from 222.5 megawatts to 280.5 megawatts.

He said the application for additional 60 megawatt of power was a result of studies and projections that in late 2018 there will be a shortage of reliable base load power.

As to fears raised by Repollo, there’s no stopping for EDC to apply for another expansion in the years to come, Omandam said reservoirs have certain limits. As to the impact, the last 34 years that they have been operating in that area is enough proof of good management and that the forest growth is even increasing compared to that outside of the reservation area. (By Choy Gallarde)

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