BALANGA CITY, Bataan: Provincial officials, the Catholic Church and a cause-oriented group here on Friday separately expressed strong opposition to any move to revive and operate the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in Morong town.
Representative Jose Enrique Garcia 3rd of the 2nd District, Gov. Albert Garcia, Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos and the Nuclear Free Bataan Movement (NFBM) officials led by Francisco Honra and lawyer Dante Ilaya all said the “BNPP is dangerous and will bring death and destruction.”
The lawmaker said President Rodrigo Duterte has not given the “greenlight” to operate BNPP, adding that its feasibility must be looked into.
The Garcias went to Davao last week and informed the President of their concern about dire prospects Bataan faces if the nuclear plant is revived.
“We are highly concerned about safety. It also has a big impact on tourism. Development of resorts and allied businesses in the vicinity might not push through if they get wind of plans to revive the BNPP,” the congressman said.
“Even if there is no fault line, the Philippines and a huge part of Asia is in the Pacific Rim of Fire that is why we are susceptible to earthquakes. Bataan is between the National Capital Region [Metro Manila] and Regions 3 and 4 which are heavily-populated. If there will be problems at the plant, millions of Filipinos will be badly affected,” he added.
Garcia said the government should not think of the big amount of money that has already been spent for the BNPP. “We should not think of what has already been spent on the BNPP because a lot more would be lost in Bataan and the country as a whole if it is put into operation.”
Bishop Santos said government officials should take into consideration the life and future of the people and the environment, not the profit or material convenience.
“We are firm in our decision to oppose any move to rehabilitate the BNPP. We have tarpaulins in all churches in opposition to the BNPP and we will disseminate the message to all diocesan schools,” the prelate added.
“BNPP – Tutol Kami, Tigilan Na. It is not worth the risk,” “BNPP – Hindi Pag-unlad at Pag-asa Kundi Panganib, Pinsala at Kamatayan Pa,” read the streamers.
The Nuclear Free Bataan Movement considers nuclear power as the deadliest energy source invented by man.
The provincial and congressional officials, priests and the NFBM urged the government to study the use of renewable energy like wind, solar, geothermal and hydro that are still not sufficiently tapped.
“Aside from these, the study should include nuclear power as well. This should be done so that government will know what option to take that will involve the lowest risk,” Garcia said.