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COAL FIRED PLANT IN SARANGANI REACTION The groundbreaking for a proposed 200-megawatt coal-fired power plant in the coastal

l village of Kamanga, Municipality of Maasim, Sarangani Province has divided the people between those who see the facility as a threat to the environment and their health, and those who believe it will lift them from poverty. Gov. Miguel Dominguez, Trade Sec. Gregory Domingo supported the project and Tomas Alcantara, president and chairman of the Alcantara Group of Companies led the project. It would encourage more investors to come in and generate thousands of jobs. More importantly, it would stabilize power supply in central Mindanao. The construction and the eventual operation of the power plant would fill up the power void expected to hit Mindanao by 2014 as experts predicted. Currently, the largest demand for power comes from the south-central Mindanao area. The site where the coal-fired power plant will rise has been identified as part of a special economic zone. Trade and Industry Secretary Gregorio Domingo, gracing the groundbreaking ceremony for the 200-megawatt coal-fired thermal power plant being built by the Sarangani Energy Corp. (SEC), a subsidiary of the Alcantara Group of Companies, admitted that Mindanaos future is slowed down by the inability of existing power plants to supply all the electricity that its growing population and expanding economy needs.

The severe lack of power is the main problem of business in the Philippines now. Based on the DTIs assessment, the new power plants could supply up to additional 1,000 megawatts in Mindanao alone by 2015. But consumers would have to accept that most of these new power plants would have to use clean coal as energy source, instead of green energy. Renewable energy like solar and wind is clean and good, but I dont think consumers are ready for the high cost of electricity they would impose on them. The project proponent is a company with a lot of experience in power business. The fluidized bed combustion process technology that will be using would address concerns on pollution. This would be the most modern and cleanest power plant in Asia. Yes, job generation and solution to power curtailment are at stake in here. For me this project is a very beneficial to Sarangani people and neighboring provinces especially to the people of Maasim who have been in the grave of poverty for years. Let's support this project rather than having it criticized and propose nothing on how to end hunger and answer the scarcity of energy in the area. Let's put our trust to the project proponent who will be responsible in ensuring that our environment is properly taken cared of. We have the government to go into in case of its failure to safeguard our health and environment.