City Council junks anew minority bloc resolution PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 September 2011 17:21

The tyranny of numbers has ruled once more at the City Council after it rejected a resolution filed by District 1 Councilor Melchor Rey Sadain recalling resolutions number 564 and 855 that it passed in June and September of this year respectively, interposing no objection to the proposed establishment of coal fired power plant inside the Zamboanga City Economic Zone in San Ramon, this city.

Of the total number of members present during the deliberation of Sadain’s resolution in yesterday’s regular session, only three councilors (Sadain, Rommel Agan and Cesar “Jawo” Jimenez) voted in favor while 12 from the majority bloc (Councilors Abdurahman Nuno, Lilia Nuno, Rey Candido, Vincent Paul Elago, Noning Biel, Eduardo Saavedra, Myra Paz Abubakar, Miguel Alavar, Percival Ramos and Rudy Lim) voted against.    The rest of the members went out of the session hall before the voting except for the SK President Joana Mas and Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde who were out on official business.

Sadain’s proposed resolution was an offshoot of Talisayan Barangay Council’s resolution expressing strong objection to the putting up of a coal fired power plant by Conal Holdings Inc at Ecozone which later changed its business name into San Ramon Power Incorporated or SRPI.

In the said resolution, Talisayan Barangay Chairperson Josephine Pareja cited the possible devastating effect in the environment and human’s health should the coal fired power plant will be established in the area.

“With the recent objection of barangay Talisayan, the host barangay, and the position of the former mayor now vice mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City,opposing similar projects in his area because of environmental concerns and hazards to potable water and health this August body, if we are true to our mandate as representatives of the people should continue to conduct its research, studies, and consultation, and have an open mind on these unanswered issues and concerns,” Sadain said as he made it clear that while the council has no expertise “but we can always invite experts and resource persons in aid of our legislative actions.”

Sadain explained that  recalling the “no objection” resolution would somehow give way to a continuous consultation and in-depth study of the effects of the coal-fired power plant.

Sadain said that there is no hurry for its passage considering the fact that “No Objection” resolution is not mandatory, as admitted by the majority during earlier proceedings, in so far as the final application of Conal Holdings in their desire to put up the power plant.

After junking the minority’s proposed resolution, Sadain introduced another resolution calling officials of the concerned barangays and representative from DENR-EMB to a dialogue in the City Council in the next regular session. Unfortunately, the same was rejected.

Councilor Nuno said  there is no need to call for a dialogue considering the fact that another round of consultations or scoping will be carried out by SRPI anytime this month.

“They can raise all issues and concerns during the scoping,” Nuno said as he challenged members of the minority bloc to attend said activity which will likely be done at Ecozone.

For his part, Councilor Agan said that Talisayan Barangay Council’s resolution simply shows that both City Council resolutions in favor of Conal or SRPI were passed without consulting the people of the host barangay and that the proposed resolution setting the dialogue would have been the proper venue to address the concern of the people who are directly affected should the alleged environmental issues and concerns left unanswered.

Councilor Jawo Jimenez also said the barangay council of Talisayan should be given the opportunity to be heard and the dialogue is the best venue that the City Council can afford them.

“Since the start, I have been asking the City Council to consult the barangay concerned but they proceeded in passing the resolution of no objection. With the resolution of objection from the barangay, this is a big blow to the decision of the majority,” Jimenez said. — Jimmy Villaflores