Green Alert urges Provincial Government to terminate EDC Northern Negros Geothermal Project

Mount Kanla-on

Mount Kanlaon Peak. Photo by Randy James Rojo

Around fifteen years of opposition to the Mount Kanla-on Natural Park geothermal project of Energy Development Corporation has not tire Green Alert Negros and many other NGO’s, institutions, and concerned individuals. In fact, they are now taking the fight to a higher level. The environment deserves some justice after all the damage done.

Vice Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson addressed the request of GAN for a meeting together with EDC regarding their MKNP operations and their geothermal power plant plans in Northern Negros Natural Park. The meeting pushed thru last Sept. 9, 2015, 9:30 AM at the Provincial Capitol.

Meeting Agenda created by the office of the vice governor

Meeting Agenda created by the office of the vice governor

Questions regarding the operations were raised by GAN volunteers and other individuals in the opposition and EDC representatives were given a chance to explain their side.

Here are some important points made during the discussion:

  • There is no operation in the geothermal power plant in MKNP since the shutdown on 2010
  • All commitments for power supply (both in Negros and Panay) were taken from the Valencia, Dumaguete EDC power plant
  • When GAN presented the Memorandum of Agreement violations, EDC said that they wanted to clarify that ‘the MOA was made upon entrance into the buffer zone. Whereas not the whole infrastructure is the the buffer zone, only a part of it, and the rest belong to private lots which have land titles.’
  • Logs of the trees that EDC has cut were taken care by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; while DENR has told GAN that the logs were left in the area of EDC
  • Unused areas by EDC were not yet reverted to the Philippine Area Management Board
  • Vice Governor Lacson asked GAN to pass a position paper and state their stand, issues and reasons for their appeal on the termination of EDC Northern Negros Geothermal Project in MKNP
  • No comments made by EDC regarding Carbon Trading with World Bank
  • EDC only needs 2 endorsements to break through with Northern Negros Natural Park geothermal study- from Bacolod City and the province.
  • “We support renewable energy but we will not tolerate shortcuts,” said Vice Governor Lacson. When the endorsement was brought up, he continued, “We will always remember what happened in MKNP.”
  • Documents that EDC has committed to provide a copy to the office of Vice Governor Lacson and GAN:
    • Feasibility study on the proposed solar power plant in the current geothermal facility
    • GPS coordinates and quarterly reports submitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
    • Aerial shots of the facility
    • Blueprint
    • ECC of their proposed 5-8MW operation

The office of the Vice Governor gave assurance that the 2008 MOA will be studied again. He also noted that other agencies will be invited in the next meeting since they are the ones in charged to a number of questions that EDC could not give answers.

GAN will be submitting a position paper as requested by the vice governor, and looking forward that by the next meeting, accountability will be delivered.

Visayan Daily Star page 3. September 10, 2015

Visayan Daily Star page 3. September 10, 2015. Photo by Mark Jhoemar Mangat

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