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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pacman tackles energy issue

ALABEL, Sarangani , Philippines – World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao is opposing the construction of a 200-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Maasim town by Conal Holdings because of potential damage to the environment.

Pacquiao, who is running for congressman in Sarangani, is executive director of Task Force Luwas Kinaiyahan (TFLK), or “save the environment” in the Cebuano dialect.

TFLK deputy director Boy Lim said the organization has the full backing of the People’s Champ.

“Manny is not backing down a bit because he has seen that there are alternative sources of sustainableenergy other than coal, which has been proved to be one of the major causes of global warming and climate change we are experiencing today,” Lim said.

Lim said power can be harnessed from biomass containing biofuel for industrial use, such as the jathropa plant.

He said biomass has less toxic emissions compared to coal.

“The gas emissions by coal-fired power plants will enter the atmosphere where it will gather in the clouds and drop back to earth in the form of acid rain,” he said.

He said the proposed coal-fired power plant in Maasim, would need a carbon sink of at least 7,000 hectares of trees to absorb the toxic emissions.

“But then again, this is no guarantee because gas emissions respect no boundaries and could waft across the atmosphere as far as North Cotabato and Davao del Sur, depending on wind direction,” Lim said.

The TFLK has joined the Diocese of Marbel and people’s organizations in opposing the construction of the power plant.

“Manny is for development, but not development at all costs, or at the expense of the health and wellbeing of the people,” Lim said.

Author: Nonong Baliao

Source: philstar.com

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