BEHIND THE LINES: As promised PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 30 October 2014 13:48

BY BOB JALDON

 

San Jose, CA.— Didn’t the Alsons Power Group commit to provide steady, cheap, reliable and sustainable power to Zamboanga City for the next three decades and onward? Why do we still have some people masterfully crafting a negative approach to Alsons’s plans to the extent of painting a dark prospect of something good happening? Why is there a systematic barrage of negativism against a company that has promised “energy independence” to a city that has long suffered the repulsive consequences of intermittent blackouts the last 20 or so years?

Madre de cacao. The San Ramon Power, Inc. has enumerated the advantages of building a power plant solely dedicated for Zamboanga City — from environmental concerns, financial viability to assurances that cheap and affordable power will be generated with unabridged efficiency for the next 30 years starting 2018. Still, the same negative perceptions are advanced to the public (God knows why) as Santana’s “Black Magic Woman” is played again and again over FM radio. Replay. These recycled issues don’t seem to go away no matter how many public consultations and city council inquiries are (were) made to enlighten those who simply refuse to fathom a comprehensible matter that even a high school graduate would understand.

On November 4, the city council, again, will attempt to conduct an autopsy on Alsons’s financial capability to build a power plant, something that has been fully discussed a year ago with the honorable councilors by Alsons vice president for project development, Joseph Nocos. But that, too, obviously didn’t sink in the heads of some Doubting Thomases.

Last August 30, SRPI’s president clarified, point by point, the lease contract that the company entered into with the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority and Freeport (Zamboecozone). SRPI is infusing a huge amount of money into the project — the biggest, single investment in Zamboanga, thus far. Think of the employment opportunities and auspicious livelihood that will be generated once the construction of the plant starts in mid-2015. Contemplate on how many people (families) in the barangays adjacent to San Ramon would have a decent living upon being hired by the company (that will pay minimum wage). Being hypocritical about something meritorious, billed as the key to our industrial success as President Ramos saw it in 1995 (announcing that Zamboanga will be the “industrial Capital” of Western Mindanao), is foolhardy.

Zamboanga has lodged in isolation for four decades because of stubborn resistance to change. The last bastion of recognition as a highly-urbanized city was snatched away from us by Executive Order No. 429. We — Attys. Vic Solis, Tonggo Climaco and the late Eddie Atilano and yours truly) fought for the retention of the capital (transferred to Pagadian City) in every legal and administrative way.

We have always been an opposition city for all the wrong reasons. Isn’t it time that we broke out from that unproductive shell and plan for the greatest good?