Group bucks proposed coal-fired power plant in Pangasinan

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — A group of concerned citizens called the Save Sual Movement (SSM) is opposing another plan to put up the second coal-fired power plant in Sual town.

Former Sual vice mayor Alex Rigonan, a consultant to SSM, said their group is now gathering legal documents which they can show to proper government agencies and the court supporting their stand that a new coal-fired power plant would be detrimental to the people of Sual.

The town is already the location of the 1,200-megawatt Sual Coal-Fired Power Plant operated by Team Energy in Barangay Pangascasan.

Interviewed by newsmen in Lingayen, Rigonan said the project is being pushed by Sual Mayor Roberto Arcinue who seemed unmindful of the health and welfare of the people to be affected.

He said they will be behind Mayor Arcinue if he instead pushes for the construction of a solar power project, same as the one set to be put up soon by the Filipinas Newton Energy Corporation (FNEC) in San Manuel, Pangasinan, that will generate 70 megawatts.

FNCE’s solar power project was endorsed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) when it was presented to the body a few weeks ago.

SSM, headed by Rosanna Soriano, earlier opposed the plan by Phinma to build a 1,000-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Barangay Baquioen, Sual.

Phinma, however, shelved its project in the meantime, but has not cancelled it yet.

Rigonan said Sual is already hosting the biggest power plant in the country and a new one will further risk the lives and health of the people of Sual.

A new coal-fired plant in the town will definitely have a big impact on the health of the people as well as the environment, he said.

Rigonan asked the mayor to think of the future of the next generation of people in Sual before welcoming a new coal-fired power plant.

According to him, Mayor Arcinue has been telling the people about the employment that the new coal-fired power plant can generate.

Rigonan, however, stressed that the health of the people as well as the environment of the whole town are more important.