Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Help preserve Planet Earth, PIA chief urges in forum.


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By Leonardo V. Micua DAGUPAN CITY, Oct. 4 (PNA) -- Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Jose Fabia, director general of the Philippine Information Agency, called for the preservation of inter-generational wealth of the nation and of the whole Mother Earth to ensure the survival of the next generations. Fabia, former Mayor of Binmaley town just west of Dagupan City, spoke on Saturday during the forum Global Agenda 2010 on the theme "Leading Change in a Changing World" at the Dagupan People's Astrodome, sponsored by Media Link Events Management. Fabia said during the forum attended by some 4,000 participants that the inter-generational wealth include the mountains, seas, rivers, lakes, streams, forests, plains and others which need not be wasted but rather preserved and protected for the sake of the future generations. He called on the participants to help protect Planet Earth, saying that the administration of President Benigno Aquino III is already doing its part as gleaned from its ongoing program on poverty reduction and its fight against graft and corruption. Both these programs, are inter-related with the fight against climate change, Fabia added. Elaborating on this, he said, Pangasinan is a net exporter of electricity, being the host of the 1,000-megawatt Sual Coal-fired Power Plant and the 345-megawatt San Roque Multi-purpose Dam Project. He said there is a need for the government to look for alternative sources of energy that are friendly to the environment that will replace the Sual Coal-fired Power plant, that uses coal imported from other countries. "Darating ang araw na ang Sual ay i-retire mo yan dahil may renewable energy sources na puwedeng gawin sa Pangasinan," said Fabia, a lawyer. He mentioned wind power as a possible alternative, adding that windmills that will generate energy can be put up along the long coastline from Dasol in the south to La Union in the north in order to substantiate the power that the Sual Coal-fired Power Plant is producing. The advantage of wind power, he said, is that once the windmills are in place, these could generate electricity continuously from 30 to 50 years and that, there is no need any more to buy expensive fuel, including coal which is yet being sourced out from other countries, like Australia and Indonesia. Fabia said the cost of electricity will certainly be reduced because the windmills will no longer need fuel in producing electricity for the homes and factories, thus benefiting the poor consumers. An on top of that, he said, this is another way to eliminate graft and corruption because it is through importation of fuel that corruption sometimes arise. "So, you hit many birds with one stone. Aside from being environmentally friendly, the cost of electricity will be lower and will benefit all, and also graft and corruption will be minimized," he said. Fabia also called on the government to study the feasibility of setting up of solar panels to capture the energy from the sun, adding that the province of Pangasinan, like in all parts of the Philippines, enjoys sunny weather 365 days a year. But Fabia concedes that the building of solar panels, like those of the windmills, is very expensive. However, he said there is a new technology developed in China, which is cheaper by 33 percent than the actual cost of solar panels available in other countries. Also noting the existence of the Manlelluag National Park in Mangatarem, near the Tarlac border, Fabia said this is a good source of energy that can be tapped to provide electricity for the whole of Pangasinan. All these, he said, boil down to the principle that it is possible to reduce poverty through the adoption of environment friendly technologies that will produce electricity in order to reduce the cost of electricity and also lessen the possibility of graft and corruption. At the same time, Fabia said the floods spawned by typhoon "Ondoy" in Metro Manila and "Pepeng" in Pangasinan may have the possibility of repeating but there is a way to avoid these from happening again. He said for Pangasinan, a big flood can be avoided if for now, San Roque Dam will do its duty of monitoring well its water level, the coming of typhoons and rains and the amount of rainfall expected to fall in the eastern portion of Pangasinan. If not, Fabia said, another flood as destructive as the one that came during the onslaught of Typhoon "Pepeng" will likely happen again. Fabia hailed the protocol forged by the National Power Corporation, San Roque Power Corporation, Philippine Atmospheric Geo-sciences Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and the provincial government of Pangasinan to be observed in the dam when another typhoon as strong as "Pepeng" will hit the province. He said there is also a need to build "disaster-resilient communities" to ensure that whenever a disaster strikes, the people in the whole community are prepared to meet the threat. Fabia suggested the planting of trees in the communities as well as in balding mountains and forest reserves to be spearheaded by local government units as the best thing that can be done to prevent any more destructive natural disasters. He said there is also a need to preserve the existing watershed and the establishment of new ones so there can be a free flow of excess water to the sea. Noting the serious problem of intrusion of salt water into the wells in the coastal areas of Pangasinan, Fabia suggested the putting up of reservoirs that can be the source of drinking water for the province's population "as a matter of survival". "If you want our province to continue to grow over the next 500 years, the best way we can do is to preserve our resources. If we don't, time will come that we all get out of Pangasinan because this will no longer be a habitable place," he said. He dreads the day when Pangasinan will get its drinking water from the outside because all its wells are already intruded by salt water. (PNA)


Source Citation
"Help preserve Planet Earth, PIA chief urges in forum." Philippines News Agency 4 Oct. 2010. General Business File ASAP. Web. 9 Nov. 2010.
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