Sablan waste to energy project is already shelved

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SABLAN, Benguet – Concerned municipal officials underscored that the proposed multi-billion waste to energy project in the municipality is already dead because of the alleged failure of the proponent to support the same with the results of a full-blown feasibility study that was conducted for the said purpose.

Sources, who requested anonymity for personal reasons, pointed out that the municipal government should not be faulted in imposing the conduct of the required free and prior informed consent (FPIC) for the project because Sablan is an ancestral domain of the Ibalois and the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) is very clear on the matter.

Further, the source argued that it is unfair for some quarters to keep repeating that municipal officials are sending mixed signals to the developer on the said project when what they are demanding is for the proponent to present to them the results of the feasibility that had been conducted for the said purpose.

The sources claimed that their municipal officials should be afforded the appropriate respect for whatever are their collective decision on the matter because they are also aware of what will be the best for their constituents even if they like to work hand in hand with other officials from other neighboring communities, thus, there should always be inter-local government courtesy in such cases.

According to them, residents living in the private land being eyed by the proponent for the put up of the waste to energy project have not been even consulted nor engaged about the project that is why it is not their fault if there has been a snowballing opposition against it because of its expected serious negative impact to the town’s environment and the possible displacement of the inhabitants of the place.

He argued that local officials are not against the implementation of development projects that will benefit other local governments but the same must pass through the prescribed processes and for proponents to be transparent on the matter because of obvious issues and concerns that will be raised by the concerned sectors so that all matters must be clarified before the implementation of the said project.

Concerned sectors in the municipality earlier raised alarm over reports that a multi-billion waste to energy project will be built in the municipality which will benefit the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area as it will provide a permanent solution to the garbage disposal woes of the involved local governments.

The sources questioned on what is wrong when their local officials demanded the proponent to first secure the consent of the indigenous peoples of the municipality and for them to present the results of their feasibility study on the project that will serve as their guide on whether or not to endorse the project that will be beneficial to the BLISTT area because they are aware of the garbage disposal issues and concerns confronting the said local governments which had been prevent since early 2000.

The sources asserted that the municipality remains open to prospective investors who are willing to comply with existing laws, rules and regulations governing the implementation of the same. By HENT

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