Written by Danny O Sagun
Dagupan City (04 October) — The head of the government’s information arm has called for the construction of energy facilities that are not only environment-friendly but also cost-efficient.
Speaking before the Global Agenda 2010 climate change forum at the People’s Astrodome here Saturday, lawyer Jose A. Fabia, director-general of the Philippine Information Agency, said that the country’s rich natural resources can be readily tapped as alternative sources of energy.
He said that the long shoreline from the western town of Dasol to the province of La Union is a very good source of wind power, the output of which may rival that of the coal-fired power plant in Sual town.
Wind power is cost-efficient since there will be no more expenses after installing the needed facility unlike a plant which is being run by coal, he pointed out. “Hindi ka na gagastos para sa fuel like coal at wala nang kurakot,” he told the big crowd composed of students and faculty members of colleges and universities in Pangasinan.
The same is true with a solar power facility which runs for 365 days in a year for free, he said. “Ang gagastusin lang dyan ay yong installation,” he said, adding that a new solar panel developed by China is one-third of the price of other panels.
The other source of power which Pangasinan has is geothermal energy, pointing to the Manleluag Hot Springs in Mangatarem town. Another potential source is located in Balungao.
Tapping these alternative sources of energy addresses the growing concern of global warming as well as the government’s fight against poverty and graft and corruption, he pointed out.
The province with its Sual coal-fired power plant and San Roque Multi-Purpose dam is a major contributor of power to the Luzon grid.
Fabia, former mayor of Binmaley town, urged the participants to put into practice the things they have learned from the two-day gathering. “Huwag nang magkalat ng dumi lalo na ng plastic sa ating kapaligiran lalo na sa beach. Change should come from us. Tayo ang puedeng magbago ng ating kalagayan,” he said.
Noting that the country’s wealth is inter-generational, he said: “Dapat nating pagyamanin para may mamanahin ang susunod na henerasyon. Plan a million years from now.”
Watersheds, he stressed, should be preserved to prevent massive floods. He lamented that forests are now gone due to indiscriminate cutting of trees and illegal logging.
Floods as massive as those caused by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng may again come but the effect can be minimized if everybody helps, he said. Local government units should not allow housing facilities to rise in low-lying areas, people must plant trees and those concerned at the San Roque dam must constantly monitor the water level and rainfall. (PIA Pangasinan)