INTER-FAITH movement Living Laudato Si’ Philippines has expressed opposition to the proposal of the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) to build a P26.6-billion hydro power dam in Malay, Aklan.
In a statement, the group said it joined residents of Panay Island led by the Philippine Initiative for Environmental Conservation in opposing the project.
The Strategic Power Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the SMC, announced on July 13 that it is bent on building a hydropower facility that will provide renewable energy in Panay.
"However, various issues are being raised since there was no proper consultation with the communities as provided by the provisions of the Local Government Code, the lack of transparency, the absence of cost and benefit analysis, and because the proposed construction is in the protected area, what would be its long-term effect in their biodiversity? These issues are overwhelming and need clarity from the business proponent together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources," said Living Laudato Si’.
"Constructing facilities within the natural park will greatly affect area's ecosystem and natural processes. It is a false solution for Panay Island's energy needs. We encourage the shareholders of SMC to make a stand against this false solution. Allowing this to happen, shareholders become accomplices in a future crime - ecocide," it added.
The group also urged local government leaders to be transparent and be open for dialogues and consultation processes.
“SMC may argue that the project intervention has lower to zero emissions to provide electricity, hence, good for the planet. But let us remember what Pope Francis said: that caring for eco system demands far-sightedness since no one is looking for quick and easy profit is truly interested in their preservation. But the cost of the damaged caused by such selfish lack of concern,” it added. (Jun Aguirre/SunStar Philippines)