NEGROS FOR SALE Part 1: Sige na bala, Intu-on ta ka

The land of Negros does not belong to anyone. It belongs to the ‘people’ of Negros. Therefore no king, no monkey business, can simply decide to “Perhaps I’m going to raze this part of the forest so I can have my investments going. I’ll give the locals livelihood, make everybody believe there’s going to be a shortage then tell the government they’re looking at the only answer.”

But that’s what happened anyway.

“To give way for geothermal energy development” by Errol Gatumbato

In 2007, the Energy Development Corporation (previously Philippine National Oil Company) and the province of Negros signed a Memorandum of Agreement upon entrance of EDC to the Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park Buffer Zone with a promise of 49MW production from their geothermal power plant.

Numerous NGO’s, groups, concerned individuals and environmentalists, spearheaded by Green Alert Negros, have protested against the planned construction of the geothermal power plant long before the event. Protest climbs were made. Position papers were released. Petitions were done. Still, the province chose to make way. After all, that’s 49MW there and there’s an upcoming shortage by 2010.

Three years later, EDC decided to shut the plant down because of lack of steam/ heat power needed to sustain its operations. They later assured the public that further studies will be done.

From their statement in the recent meeting with Vice Governor Lacson, the 4-8MW production that was distributed in Panay and Negros on 2010 was from their plant in Valencia, Dumaguete.

Now, was there ever a need for the Northern Nergos Geothermal power plant in MKNP? I don’t think so. What I believe is, there was never a power shoratage. They just had to go with the flow with the current status of Negros during their proposal season. EDC made it all up. They had to create a problem where in they were the only solution. Forty nine MW sounded like the perfect option. Give its being renewable as a plus. Ting ting ting!

It was clever, yes, I give them that.

We were deceived, yes, I give us that.

Negrosanons have been fooled once, and we have learned the deal- that EDC does not care for our safety, or our lives. They have sold our land and they have practically sold us as well. All for their benefit. What did we gain from this undertaking? Nothing. It was a total failure and they are guilty of that.

EDC wouldn’t have to plant a million trees if they did not cut them in the first place.

EDC will not have to provide livelihood for the locals if they did not take their land from them.

“With great power comes great responsibility,” said Spiderman, and he’s a good guy.

These forests, this sanctuary, is not for anyone to take. It is here to be taken care of and not to be destroyed.

Let us end this foolishness. It is time for EDC to leave MKNP. It is time for EDC to leave Negros alone.



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