Ahong: Issues should be addressed before power plant project starts

·2 min read

LAPU-LAPU City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan wants to hear all sides of the argument concerning the proposal to construct a 600-megawatt (MW) liquified natural gas (LNG) power plant in the city.

Chan made the statement after learning that civil society groups that included the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice Cebu Chapter and Center for Energy and Development staged a protest against the construction of the power plant in Barangay Poblacion during the observance of World Environment Day last June 5, 2022.

The project’s proponent is the Converge Power Generation Corp.

Chan told reporters that while he sees the project to be beneficial for the lives of his constituents, he won’t push for it if it’s proven that it will cause significant harm to the environment.

“Let’s be fair. Let’s give the proponent a chance to answer all the issues raised by the concerned groups,” he said in Cebuano.

“If the project will negatively impact our constituents, I won’t approve it. Why will I support something that will harm my constituents?” Chan added.

Effect on power rate

Chan said that based on his talk with the project’s proponent, power consumers in the city can expect a drop of at least P3.33 per kilowatt per hour should the LNG power plant push through and become operational. But he also wants to hear from the side of the environmentalists and concerned residents on why they are opposing the project.

“What I’m after is if the project can benefit our constituents while at the same time, won’t harm the environment,” Chan said.

In May this year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas was suppose to hold a public hearing on the project but it was suspended at the request of the proponent.

Chan said the public hearing has been rescheduled for at least three months to give time for the proponent to prepare its presentation so that it can address the concerns of affected stakeholders, particularly those concerned of its environmental impact.

He also clarified that there is no scheduled construction yet, citing they are still in the consultation stage.

Last June 5, the concerned groups initiated a “Pedal for People and Plant” activity wherein they staged a bicycle ride from the Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan towards Barangay Poblacion as a protest against the project.

The groups have claimed that the operation of the proposed power plant will only bring harm to the public and the environment amid the climate emergency experienced throughout the world.

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