EcoWaste Coalition Gives Thumbs Down to BNPP

Quezon City. A waste and pollution watchdog has added its voice to a soaring multi-sectoral movement challenging attempts to commission the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

In a statement issued by its Steering Committee, the EcoWaste Coalition rejected bills now pending before the House of Representatives and the Senate that seek to activate the controversial plant that has earned the monicker “monster of Morong.”

In a meeting held in Quezon City, the newly-constituted board of the Coalition affirmed their unity with Bishop Socrates Villegas, the Network Opposed to the BNPP (NO to BNPP), Freedom from Debt Coalition, Greenpeace, Green Convergence and other groups in asserting the primacy of public health and safety over the debatable benefits of going nuclear.

Bishop Villegas, who in July 2008 issued a passionate pastoral statement “Choose the Lord, Reject Evil” against reviving the BNPP, is set to lead a protest rally versus the contentious proposal on February 23 in front of the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Balanga, Bataan.

The EcoWaste Coalition did not mince words in assailing the scheme to revive the plant as a “despicable act that explicitly imperils the public welfare and negates country’s goal of attaining just, humane and sustainable development.”

“We strongly disapprove the revival of the BNPP as it completely trashes the people’s hard-fought win to prevent its operation due to deep-seated public health, safety, financial and sustainability concerns,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.

“We join Bishop Socrates Villegas, the Diocese of Balanga, the NO to BNPP and other oppositors in rejecting the extremely flawed and irresponsible plan to operate the mothballed power plant,” they declared.

The EcoWaste Coalition expressed highest concern on how the byproduct nuclear waste of the plant will be disposed, pointing to the fact that government agencies are already struggling as it is, if not failing on the issue of ecological management of regular municipal discards.

To inform the ongoing debate about the BNPP’s safety, the EcoWaste Coalition called on the authorities to publicly disclose the results of a confidential study that was commissioned by the government in 1988-92. The study purportedly did not support the activation of the plant due to safety issues.

While refuting nuclear energy as the most costly and most dangerous source of power, the EcoWaste Coalition pushed for alternative energy sources that are safe, non-toxic, climate-friendly and sustainable.

The group cautioned lawmakers against making any appropriations for the rehabilitation of the BNPP, stressing that such action will surely undermine investments in clean, safe and renewable energy sources that abound in the country.

“We have already suffered so much in paying for the BNPP – a sickening case of a fraudulent, wasteful and useless debt – and we need not suffer some more and sink deeper into what surely is a financial quagmire,” the EcoWaste Coalition stated.

The EcoWaste Coalition advised pro-BNPP politicians to desist from raising it from the dead as the group reminded them of the heroic fight of the late Senators Lorenzo Tañada and Jose Diokno against the “monster of Morong.”

“We urge our legislators to honor the legacy of Sen. Tañada, Sen. Diokno, and the countless women and men who resisted the BNPP during the darkest period of the dictatorship, and withdraw their support for the bills,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.

Sen. Tañada, grandfather of Quezon Representative Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III once described the BNPP as a “monument to a man’s folly, pride and refusal to admit mistakes.”

Comprising the EcoWaste Coalition’s Steering Committee are the Alaga LAHAT, Cavite Green Coalition, Concerned Citizens Against Pollution, Earth Renewal Project, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Health Care Without Harm, Krusada sa Kalikasan, Mother Earth Foundation, November 17 Movement, Sanib Lakas ng Inang Kalikasan, Sustainable Agriculture
Apostolate of the Diocese of Tandag and the Zero Waste Recycling Movement of the Philippines Foundation.

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 320, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 9290376