Proposed 2nd coal-fired power plant in Sual faces stiff opposition

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — A proposal to build a second coal-fired power plant in Sual town is facing stiff opposition from the townsfolk affiliated with the Save Sual Movement which to date has around 900 members and is still growing.

This was revealed by former Sual Vice Mayor Alex Rigonan, who said the movement headed by Rosanna Soriano, is now gathering signatures to a petition opposing the construction of a new 900megawatt coal-fired plant, not only from people of Sual but also from the whole first district of Pangasinan.

In an interview, Rigonan slammed the proposed 900-megawatt power plant to be built by the Phimma Energy Corp., formerly Trans-Asia and Energy Development Corporation in Sitio Mangas, Barangay Baquioen, Sual.

The town is already the location of the 1,200-megawatt Sual Coal-fired Power Plant in Barangay Pangascasan.

Saying one coal-fired power plant in Sual is already enough, Rigonan pointed out that a second coal-fired power plant will bring much trouble to the townspeople in terms of additional hazards to the environment as well as health.

He said Sual Mayor Roberto Arcinue, whom he supported in his first three months in his first term of office, was at first opposed to the coal-fired power plant but changed his mind later.

“I refuse to believe that the change of heart of the mayor may have something to do with the receipt by the municipality of Sual of its share from the Real Property Tax (RPT) of the now operating Sual Coal-fired Power Plant,” Rigonan said.

He said Mayor Arcinue should think of the welfare of his constituents and not only his personal and family interests before welcoming a second coal-fired power plant in the town, as the first one, already in operation, has brought many problems to the town and its people.

Not only the health of the people as well as the environment are now at risk but also the soil, which are growing rice and vegetables, to be virtually unproductive. He also noted that the Logolog River where the coal ash flow from pond, is now deserted by fish and other marine life.

He said that in opposing the putting up of a second coal-fired power plant in the town, he and members of the Save Sual Movement are no longer thinking about themselves but the welfare of the future generations of Sual people and wish their mayor to reconsider his stand on welcoming another coal-fired power plant.