Legazpi City (Jan. 9, 2017) – “Your jobs are at stake!”
This is how Sec. Regina Paz Lopez of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) warned several officials of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in the province of Bataan.
In a media interview, Sec. Lopez said that these officials should never have allowed a coal-fired power plant in the town of Limay to operate.
The plant which is owned by Petron Corporation was again the object of complaint by numerous residents in the area following another ash fall last December.
“This is totally unacceptable!” according to the secretary referring to the effects the spill might have to public welfare in terms of health, work and environmental degradation.
According to statements from some of the angry residents, some of their neighbors may have already acquired respiratory infections because of the ash.
Others say that some children have already contracted skin infections.
Livestock and vegetation were also affected.
These consequences, Lopez explained, should not be justified in the name of economic progress.
The EMB officials in Bataan have a lot of explaining to do, she added.
The EMB is an attached agency under the direct supervision of the DENR.
The secretary announced that her office had already issued a Cease and Desist Order to the plant last Friday.
She also has scheduled a dialogue with the top executives of Petron Corporation regarding the matter.
Petron had earlier denied responsibility for the ash fall.
Meanwhile, a source inside the DENR disclosed that an internal investigation on several officials of the EMB in Bataan have already been initiated. (J. Garalde)