By Philippines News Agency - February 6, 2017
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—Members of the Save the Sual Movement (SSM) heaved a sigh of relief after learning the Phinma Group has deferred its plan to construct a 900-megawatt coal-fired power plant in their town.
“It’s good news to all of us that the project has been deferred reportedly for eight years. It’s the victory of the people of Sual,” said former Sual Vice Mayor Alex Rigonan, an adviser to SSM with Rosanna Soriano as lead convener.
Rigonan said all the people of Sual rejoiced with that good news that Phinma has deferred its project, as Sual cannot afford to have a new coal-fired power plant.
“Sual is already the location of the biggest power plant in the whole country, the Sual coal-fired power plant, which is producing 1,200 megawatts. Then, they would like to escalate the agony of the people by making the town also the location of a new power plant capable of producing 900 megawatts,” he said.
Informed that Phinma deferred its project for reason of oversupply of power today, Rigonan doubted this claim and believed it was the aggressive opposition of the people over this environmentally critical project that made Phinma change its mind.
But whatever it is, the deferment of the project is a big relief to the people of Sual who have been suffering many sleepless nights since the proposal for another coal-fired power plant in the town was put forward two years ago.
“This means we can now sleep soundly in our own homes nightly for as long as eight years now that Phinma has deferred the project,” Rigonan said.
But, he said, the deferment could just be a smoke-screen for a larger sinister plan to pollute the environment of the town at the expense of the people knowing the penchant of some local officials to risk the health of the people if their own personal interest is at stake.
Thus, the need for the people of Sual not to relax their guard and to still continue their vigilance over any unusual activity in the town that could risk the environment.
He said the people of Sual were already awakened over the issue of the coal-fired power plant and would not want any more project of this kind, which they think would cause damage to the environment and to their health.