Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Call against the Construction of a Diesel Power Plant in the Tropical Island Paradise of Camiguin

An Island known for its sweet lanzones, Camiguin also boasts of its beautiful islets and azure sea waters. It has fresh air, volcanoes, pristine mountain rain forests, hot springs, old Spanish colonial-era church ruins, rustic environment and friendly and hospitable people. Camiguin Island is indeed a tropical paradise for local and foreign tourists. However, in the view of some people the beautiful island is threatened with planned infrastructures that may alter the nature which make it an environmentally pleasant tourist destination.

Citizen for Green and Peaceful Camiguin (CGCP) which has hundreds of International and local members is at the forefront of protecting the island’s environment. The group is protesting the construction of a diesel power plant located in Sitio Maubog, Bgy. Balbagon, Mambajao, Camiguin. On November 5, 2015, it staged a “peace assembly” at the village freedom park on said matter and other social issues affecting the island.

On the issue of the diesel power plant, a protest is directed against the Camiguin Electric Cooperative (Camelco), and the local public officials of the island province. The group deplored the lack of transparency of officials of the local government and electric cooperative on the project as well as the lack consultations with the local residents on the project’s social acceptability.                                                                                                                    

The group is concerned that construction of the power plant will adversely affect the island’s ecosystem and biodiversity which will destroy the environment and affect the well being of the people. In fact Camiguin is proclaimed as an Environmentally Critical Area. Local residents rely heavily on farming, fishing and tourism related activities for their livelihood. In addition, the operation of a diesel power plant may increase the level of green house gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide. Excessive amount of those gasses in the atmosphere is detrimental to the health of the inhabitants which may make them prone to respiratory, cardiovascular and other diseases caused by toxic gasses in the air.