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Kasanggayahan and the Bulusan Geothermal Project according to the Good Bishop

Kasanggayahan 2013

Crowd fills a local mall long veranda during the opening of Kasanggayahan Festival, October 17, 2013 in Sorsogon City.

Strong words comprised the message of Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes spoken  during the Kasanggayahan festivities on  the planned  Geothermal Power Project in Bulusan. These words  were  the most forceful so far coming from the Bishop  in reiterating the anti-exploration/exploitation stand of the constituents of Bulusan and neighboring towns of Irosin and Casiguran delivered at an event where supporters of the pro geothermal exploration from the government and big business were present.

I lifted  part of the  statement of Bishop Arturo Bastes which was published in the  CBCP news site (http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=24793) for the information  of my town mates who are supporting the environmental conservation stand. It is also particularly addressed to  the proponents of  the exploitation of Bulusan Volcano/Mt. Bulusan for geothermal power generation for them to shift their gears and focus their activities somewhere else in places where there are no communities that will be negatively impacted resulting from such ‘development’.

Here it is:

“The government and its geothermal project contractor Summa Kumagai Inc. (SKI) betray the spirit of Kasanggayahan Festival for pushing their geothermal prospect in the province despite strong opposition, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said.

In a statement on Saturday following a Mass in Magallanes town, Bastes said the government and SKI’s geothermal dream threatens to destroy the natural resources of the province.

The term Kasanggayahan means prosperity, he said. The gifts of nature like Bulusan Volcano, Bulusan Lake, cold and hot springs in the towns of Bulusan and Irosin, marine resources, and agricultural riches are in danger of being annihilated if the project pushes through.

“Since we have a good faith, we have the responsibility to carry on in protecting nature,” Bastes said. “With the geothermal plant, they will destroy Bulusan Lake. They will destroy Sorsogon.”

Bastes called on the people of Sorsogon to support the Catholic Church in its crusade to preserve the local environment and foil any attempt to bring it down to destruction. ”

We hope those in power both in government and business will heed the Bishop’s warning so that the next generations of Sorsoganons  especially us, Bulusanons will  experience more Kasanggayahan in perpetuity with the preservation of Mt Bulusan’s immeasurable  ecosystem services from drinking water to climate change shield of those living in its midst – us.

Photo by Alma P. Gamil

Earlier post about Bulusan Geothermal:  https://bulusanruralvagabond.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/in-bulusan-environmental-security-means-no-geothermal/

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