THE proponent of a coal-fired power plant in Barangay Sawang Calero wants the Cebu City Government to reclassify the land use of their project site.

Upon the request of Ludo Power Corp., Councilor Dave Tumulak filed a proposed resolution covering the matter before the City Council yesterday.

Based on the proposed measure, Ludo wants their site to be classified under medium and high-intensity industrial districts (I2) instead of low-intensity districts (I1).

City Ordinance 1656, otherwise known as the Cebu City Zoning Ordinance, provides that power plants should only be allowed in areas under I2.

The proposed coal-fired power plant is planned to be built in a thickly populated community in Sawang Calero.

The project site’s I1 classification was among the four grounds cited by the committee on environment headed by then councilor Nida Cabrera when they disapproved the project in April this year.

The project was introduced during the previous council but was disapproved due to the objections made by several residents of Sawang and nearby villages.

During the legislative body’s regular session yesterday, several residents wearing white shirts were present and supported the project.

One of them, who refused to be named, said he supports the coal-fired power plant because it will generate employment and provide additional income to the barangay.

“I supported this ever since because I will be among those unemployed residents who will benefit from it. Those who previously opposed the project are not residents of Sawang. If there were residents from Sawang, they’re fewer compared to those who are supportive of the project,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

Aside from reclassifying the project site, Tumulak’s proposed resolution also seeks to authorize the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to conduct a public hearing for the proposed coal-fired power plant.

He wants it attended by the residents, other stakeholders and officials of Barangays Sawang Calero, Duljo Fatima, Pahina San Nicolas, Suba and Pasil to know their views on the environmental impact of the project.

When Tumulak moved for the approval of his resolution, Councilor Sisinio Andales suggested that it be referred first to the City Zoning Board and to the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) for review.

Councilor Jose Daluz, for his part, said he is supportive of the project as it will be beneficial to the barangay.

But some of the councilors are apprehensive of the approval of Tumulak’s resolution, prompting Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella to call for a recess.

When the session resumed, Tumulak heeded Andales’ suggestion.

Tumulak asked CPDO and the Zoning Board, though, to immediately act on the matter and submit their comments and recommendations after the Christmas break.

Councilors Raymond Garcia, James Cuenco and Daluz abstained from voting on the referral of the proposed measure.