THE controversy involving the cassava feed Bio-ethanol plant project that is supposed to be located in the hinterland watershed zones in Cagayan de Oro is finally over.

The committee on ecology of the House of Representatives has finally approved the resolution filed by Representative Rofus Rodriguez of the second district of Cagayan de Oro prohibiting the construction of any business establishments or projects near the Cagayan de Oro River that would destroy the ecological, sociological, historical and social importance of the river.

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Based on a committee report, the plant’s proponent, Alsons Consolidated, claimed it has a zero waste technology but has not yet been proven to be effective.

The committee said the approval of Rodriguez’s resolution is one principle to be cautious and do preventive actions against possible adverse effect of the project to the environment.

Rodriguez said he has nothing against the plant and was even glad that the company has chosen to help the city’s economy. But he said he would not take the risk of the safety of the river.

He urged Alsons to relocate to other area far from natural resources, watersheds and river banks, specially the Munigue River, which is considered as a heritage site.

Rodriguez has filed the resolution in the aim of protecting the river and make it a heritage site.

“This is to make sure that the river will be protected against those who will try to destroy it. Hopefully, the children of our children will benefit from the river,” he said.

Rodriguez said the bio-ethanol plant is expected to generate income and employment to the city but the river can provide more long-term benefits to the people not only today but also the next generation. (Nicole J. Managbanag)