Network Opposed to Bataan Nuclear Power Plant Revival (NO to BNPP Revival!)

joins Interfaith gathering and caravan in protesting BNPP revivial and the Cha-cha

 

Balanga, Bataan

 

June 22, 2009

 

 

    BAYAN Central Luzon Chair Roman Polintan
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Photos courtesy of AGHAM YOUTH
           
           

 

Press Release
22 June 2009

Interfaith gathering and caravan calls to end BNPP and Cha-cha

Today, the Network Opposed to Bataan Nuclear Power Plant Revival (NO to BNPP Revival!) in commemoration of the historic Welgang Bayan (People’s Strike) of 1985 that stopped the opening of the BNPP that year, called on the other groups and individuals to relive history in order to put an end to the project once and for all.

Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of the militant group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE), a member of the alliance, said that the issues that lead to the defeat of the BNPP is still alive until today. It is just the greed of this administration that insists on resurrecting a project that has already been judged unacceptable by the people and our history.

He added that one of the reason why the Arroyo Administration is “hell bent on pursuing this deadly project is the money behind to fuel her electoral machinery and her to have enough people in congress to pursue charter change. We have an unconstitutional regime that is so desperate in escaping persecution, that it is doing what it can to perpetuate itself in power.”

Mr. Bautista emphasized that the desperation of the Arroyo regime led her to Bataan nuke plant and will eventually turn the province into her toxic playground to fuel her greed for power.

According to Dr. Giovanni Tapang, spokesperson of the alliance “it is immoral for the Arroyo regime to capitalize on another project that will only rake-in profits for them, because under the proposed changes in the Constitution, public utilities, including electric power, will be up for grabs to foreign investors."

"With a hundred percent ownership of these utilities, electricity rates are bound to increase as operational risks and costs are passed on to the consumers. This I actually a double whammy for us Filipinos - profiteering, toxic, and foreign control at the expense of the people," explained Dr. Tapang.

The alliance said that the caravan today dubbed as 'Lakbay Byahe laban sa BNPP at Cha-cha' will lead to the 'Interfaith Prayer Rally against BNPP'. The demonstration will assemble in Quezon City and go Balanga, Bataan where the activity will be hosted by the newly formed alliance of church groups and other organizations and individuals against the pressing issues.

Nardy Sabino the Secretary General of Promotion of Church People's Response (PCPR), a member of the Interfaith network said that, “Cha-cha and BNPP are moral issues that the church people and community need to stand against. It has become an imperative for different churches and denominations to actively participate in campaigns against corruption and tyranny as what the caravan and the The Interfaith Network Against BNPP Revival is about."

“We enjoin the people of Bataan and call on them to launch another monumental action against another dictator in Malacanang and the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant Project revival,” Tapang entreated.


--
JUNK HB 4361, 6300 AND SB 2665!
No to the recommissioning and operation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

Network Opposed to BNPP Revival
(NO TO BNPP REVIVAL!)

WEBSITE
: http://www.no2bnpprevival.org/

T: +63 2 9248756, +63 2 4343173
T/F: +63 2 9209099
M: +63 928 6974804 (Dr. Tapang)
E-mail: notobnpprevival@gmail.com
PLEASE SIGN the Petition online: http://www.petitiononline.com/no2bnppr/petition.html

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
=          
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AGHAM Chair UP Prof. Dr. Giovanni Tapang   KMU Chair Elmer Labog
     

 

After Cha-Cha Railroading, Congress Prepares to Rush BNPP Bill

From: http://no2bnpprevival.org/


“Another runaway train in Congress” is how the Network Opposed to the Bataan Nuclear Plant Revival (No to BNPP Revival!) described the looming plenary discussion of the bill to reopen the mothballed nuclear plant.

“After last night's charter change debacle and amid allegations of a 20M payoff to approve Palace-backed pending bills, Congress is now set to commit another mistake as it prepares to discuss House Bill 6300. The people will not forgive the representatives that will pass this folly of a bill”, said Dr. Giovanni Tapang, spokesperson of No to BNPP Revival!

Despite the voluminous studies and strong and widespread people's opposition, Congress has now tabled to take up in plenary session House Bill 6300, the consolidated version of the bill sponsored by Pampanga Representative and House Energy Committee chair Juan Miguel Arroyo. HB 6300 is principally authored by Pangasinan Representative Mark Cojuangco, the main proponent of the bill.

HB 6300 mandates the immediate rehabilitation, commissioning and commercial pperation of the Bataan nuclear power plant. HB6300 also includes a so-called validation study costing an additional 100 million pesos while the rest of the bill is to start the immediate operation of the nuclear plant.

The network chides this provision in the bill. Dr. Tapang asks Congress why are they funding a study whose findings are evident even before it starts. He said that there are already three major studies about this matter done in the past, including the Senate findings in 1986.

"The government should be clear with its priorities. If they are serious in conducting studies to develop the energy sector, they should put the funds on researches in unleashing the renewable energy potential of the country, like geothermal, power in which the country has a high potential ranking 2nd in the world and 1st on per capita basis. At least such a study would have groundbreaking results for the future of cheaper and safer energy sources in the country”, said Dr. Tapang.

The move of the Congressmen to pass the amended bill instead of totally junking it is reflective of the energy policies of the Arroyo administration. They only want the money involved and have no true intentions of developing the energy sector. The people have a clear stand on the issue; let this serve as a warning to the politicians in Congress who allow themselves to be under the influence of prominent figures pushing for this bill that the people will not forget when the ballot starts to speak in 2010,” ends Tapang.

No to BNPP Revival! asserts that the BNPP is not essential in addressing the looming "energy crisis" in 2012. The country has vast indigenous energy resources that we can tap which are more safe and reliable than nuclear power and neither would the operation of the BNPP assure cheap electricity for the people and energy independence for the country.

The network also said that BNPP is defective, almost obsolete and is not safe to operate. There are numerous and significant arguments being raised with regards to geologic hazards, infrastructure integrity, and nuclear waste storage and disposal. Its operation will pose great risks to the health and lives of the people and the environment.

In addition, the fund for the BNPP, to be paid by additional people's taxes and foreign loans, would be a source of corruption and kickbacks for the corrupt officials and cronies of the current administration. Until now, no one has been held accountable for the BNPP corruption scandals of the Marcos administration.

The Network Opposed to Bataan Nuclear Power Plant Revival (NO to BNPP Revival!) is a broad alliance of individuals, institutions and organizations from different sectors that was launched in February 11, 2009 with NO to BNPP Revival as the main basis for unity. NO to BNPP Revival! will be holding a Fund-raising Lugawan on June 5, 2009, Friday, 4-7PM in Balay Kalinaw, UP Diliman, Quezon City. ###
 

     
     
     
     
     
▲ Photos courtesy of Anakpawis Partylist  ▲
           

 

Thursday, June 25, 2009
Manila Times

PROMETHEUS BOUND
By Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.
 

Science for the people: On the environment (1)

Last week’s column on counting crowds elicited various reactions that ranged from those who appreciate the article to those who question why scientists would participate in a very “political” issue such as estimating the numbers in a rally. We beg to disagree with the latter as this kind of thinking relegates those working in science and engineering to ivory towers.

Science does not exist separate from society and as such scientific workers also interact outside their laboratories like anybody else. Current political issues are part of our issues too, and we, as scientists and engineers, can participate in addressing these questions using the expertise and knowledge that we have.

In which areas can scientists and engineers directly participate? There are a plethora of issues that beset the Filipino people but we can categorize five major concerns where scientists can contribute: the environment, food security and self-sufficiency, public utilities, scientific and mass culture and in advocating national industrialization. We discuss the issues concerning the environment today.

Most biodiverse but poorest

The Philippines is known to be one of the most biodiverse environments in the world and yet, ironically, it is among the poorest economies. At the beginning of the Spanish occupation, the Philippines’ original forest cover was 27 million hectares, representing 90 percent of our total land area. As of 2003, this had shrunk to only 7.17 million hectares, or about 24 percent of our country’s land area. Rapid forest denudation resulted in floods in low-lying plains and soil erosion of a billion cubic meters of soil per year results in 63 percent of our arable land being severely eroded.

Coastal systems are severely affected with the conversion of mangrove forests for culture ponds for prawn and crabs, while coral reefs are being destroyed mainly by soil erosion and blast and cyanide fishing-for-export. Solid waste disposal in urban centers reach dangerous levels where as much as 2.7 thousand tons of garbage are produced by Metro Manila alone. Open dumps and waterways serve as disposal grounds where they pose dangers to the nearby residents in the form of health problems or calamitous death like what happened in Payatas in 1999.

Air pollution from industries and motor vehicles generate around a 1,000 tons of noxious gases, 40 percent of which is sulfur dioxide and the rest nitrogen oxides and other gases. Industrial pollution is aggravated by the fact that only a third of firms comply with air and water waste regulations. The rest just dumps wastes directly into rivers and waterways.

Large-scale corporate mining activities literally carve out whole mountains of soil and rock to obtain metal ores for foreign export. While these foreign mining companies leave nothing but their mine tailings for the surrounding communities to contend with, they would bring with them the raw metal ores and 100 percent of their profits.

No area in the country is spared from environmental problems. Peasants, fisher folk, indigenous people and even urban poor communities are experiencing the brunt of environmental destruction brought about by industrial pollution, massive conversion of prime agricultural lands, corporate mining activities and others.

This environmental debacle has its roots in the history of the country. Over centuries of colonial subjugation, the entire Philippine archipelago was eventually used mainly as a source of raw materials and human labor by Spain. The United States later left us with an economic system that persists until today characterized by foreign-dependence on imports and export-oriented production that commercialized our natural resources. This mode of production has heightened conflicts on the use, access and control of the environment.

Landlords with large holdings have maintained the export-oriented nature of agricultural production using backward technologies. Foreign multinationals and their local partners own and control the large industrial companies that are major contributors to environmental destruction. Worse, past and present governments have allowed this environmental destruction to worsen by letting these firms enter our country in the guise of foreign investments. The policies of liberalization, deregulation and privatization that sell out our national patrimony are the same policies being proposed in the Charter change provisions in Congress.

Our environment is under siege and our people is at its mercy. Climate change aggravates this situation as weather patterns change and the vulnerable sectors such as the poor are left to fend off its effects without any support from the State.

This problem is a major source of concern as well as an opportunity for concrete action for the science and technology community. We have to look at ways for science and technology to be harnessed to maximize the environment’s use for the people while minimizing damage. We should be able explain to the people the extent and effects of the environmental destruction in our country and unite with them in defense of our environment and natural resources.

Dr. Giovanni Tapang is the chairperson of AGHAM.
Prom.bound@gmail.com
 

     
     
 
     
  ▲ Photos courtesy of Anakpawis Partylist  ▲  
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