I accepted the invitation of Gov. Gwen Garcia to cover her trip in South Korea. Basically, the trip is for a tourism conference. But she intends to visit coal fired power plants owned by KEPCO to see for herself how clean or dirty the technology these plants are.
True, KEPCO would try to present their best side. Yet, we should be able to observe more objectively and think about what is applicable to Cebu and Naga.
As a journalist and the one tasked by the University of San Carlos with writing the history of Naga, I find the trip an excellent opportunity for seeing myself CFBC power plants in operation. This is timely in the light of the raging climate change controversy that has made Naga a local battleground in the global fight to avert the warming of the earth.
I am quite acquainted with the anti-coal arguments advanced by my friends within the local environmental movement in calling for an immediate stop to the construction of the KEPCO plants in Naga. On the other hand, I also am privy to the arguments of the other side as well as the sentiments of Naganhons preferring jobs and development over the prospect of ecological damage.
I talked with Mayor Val Chiong during the city’s second charter day celebration last September 5, 2009 and sensed his desire to explore a middle ground.
Indeed, while we look forward to making moves to avert global warming, we should also respect the sentiments of the local populace. Cebuanos, for example, definitely don’t want to part with the modern conveniences made possible by the supply of reliable and affordable electricity.
I agree that we should be able to find a middle ground. The Korea trip would help me personally to look at the controversy from a broader perspective. Ultimately though, it would be the decision of the people of Naga that should be respected.