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In Bulusan, Environmental Security means No Geothermal

“Environmental security is the highest form of national security.” Borrowed from a statement attributed to P-noy (President Aquino), this is Bulusan’s rallying cry in its continued opposition for the planned Geothermal Power Plant development in Mount Bulusan.

Ironic because it is the very state (DoE) that is pushing its establishment.  But Bulusan folks know exactly the many geothermal risks of hosting the said Power Plant. The planned  industrial development will convert the last remaining original rainforest of the province  into a Geothermal Field zone of around 25,959 hectares, irrevocably altering its land use.  For how could we reconcile nature conservation and nature exploitation?

Bulusan and neighboring towns however are confident that their voices will be heard.
For one, they have the highest law of the land on their side:

The 1987 Constitution mandates the right to a healthy environment via Sec. 16, Art. II of the Philippine Constitution which provides that: “The state shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.” Section 15 of the same Article provides that: “The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.”

Signs of Steam in Mount Bulusan

Mount Bulusan, an active volcano of composite mountains, forms interesting cloud formations probably signs of steam. A key biodiversity area (KBA) with 43% endemism, it is the last remaining original rainforest of the province of Sorsogon.

Newly irrigated rice fields

Golden morning sunlight is reflected in this newly irrigated rice field in a farming village of Bulusan. Water is abundant year round from Mount Bulusan- a prime watershed area serving 5 municipalities in its immediate vicinity and 5 more neighboring adjacent towns.

Bugas Spring

Bugas Spring is just one of the many mountain springs that dot the whole landscape of Bulusan town. Household tap with the freshest mountain spring water is the cheapest in the province at 25Php per month of almost unlimited use.

Bulusan Lake

Not just pure beauty. Bulusan Lake is a nature-made water embankment that ensures a perpetual supply of mountain fresh water to the communities surrounding Mount Bulusan. Most of Bulusan’s  countless springs can be traced coming from here.

Signature for a Mountain

My signature is in there, too. I share the same view with my town mates that the Geothermal Power Plant establishment in Mount Bulusan will endanger our very own habitat.

Bountiful rice harvest

Irrigation waters supplied by Mount Bulusan ensure triple harvest than the usual even during the El nino months.

Pili

Mount Bulusan is home to the Pili, Bicol’s flagship crop. The mountain’s forest is cited as the center of origin and the center of genetic diversity of the pili species in the world.

Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines

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