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

3 06 2009

PRESS RELEASE
June 3, 2009

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

Reference: Dr. Giovanni Tapang, No to BNPP Revival! Spokesperson, 09286974804

“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. ###





“It is our Christian duty to take care of God’s creations.”

31 03 2009

29, March 2009

It is our Christian duty to take care of God’s creations.”

Christian Youth Groups Join Anti-BNPP Revival Youth and Student Movement

Member organisations under the Ecumenical Youth for Peace joined the Youth STOP BNPP Revival! alliance during the Youth Camp at the Morong Parish Church Compound, in Morong, Bataan on March 26. They believe that stopping the BNPP revival is part of their duties as young stewards of God’s creations.

The event was organized by Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR). Over a hundred youth and students from different organisations in Manila and Bataan attended the youth camp. Prof. Ricardo Saturay, Jr. of the UP National Institute for Geological Sciences (NIGS) was invited to discuss the issues surrounding the BNPP revival and why should Filipinos oppose it. Delegates from the Youth STOP BNPP Revival!-National and Youth STOP BNPP Revival!-Bataan Chapter introduced the alliance to the organisations that attended the event. During the open forum, Kalipunan ng Kristiyanong Kabataan sa Pilipinas (3KP), United Methodist Youth Fellowship, Christian Youth Fellowship, KAIROS, Samahan ng Kabataang Episcopal sa Pilipinas,Sagrada Familia Parish, Sta. Quiteria Parish, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines , and NCCP Youth immediately decided to join the Youth STOP BNPP Revival! alliance. Members of the organisations showed their unity against the BNPP revival by the symbolical act of signing the separated pieces of the STOP BNPP Revival banner and later on, putting the pieces back together to complete the banner. Cultural performances were also presented by the organisations as creative means of voicing out their protest against the revival of the BNPP.

Early next day, participants of the Youth Camp conducted a unity walk around the community near the parish. During the unity walk, participants distributed flyers to residents and invited them to join the prayer gathering at the Morong Parish grounds at 9am on the same day.

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March 26-27 Youth Camp (Morong, Bataan)

24 03 2009

March 26: Youth Camp
Venue: Morong Parish Church Compound
Organizers: Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR)
Initial Committed Participants: PCPR, AGHAM Youth, Student Christian Movement (SCM)
Activities: March 26-Workshops, Educational Discussions/ Reflections; March 27-Unity Walk, Prayer Gathering

How to get to Morong Youth Camp?
Vehicle: Arrangement and expenses shall be taken cared of by those who wish to participate.  PCPR, AGHAM Youth and SCM do not have enough funds to subsidize individuals outside of their respective organizations.
Meals: PCPR will arrange for the catering of simple, modest meals.  A fee of P20/meal per participant will be required. The exact number shall be finalized by Tuesday, March 24. So please, dial to reach the contact persons immediately.
Dress Code: Please wear your yellow anti-BNPP shirt for the prayer gathering. Or any yellow shirt, in case you dont have it.  AGHAM Youth will be selling shirts for a minimal fee of P120 each
Assembly and Departure: Assembly on March 26 will start at 12noon at NCCP Grounds (879 EDSA, West Triangle QC).  Departure will be at exactly 1PM.

FOR INQUIRIES, please call any of the following:

Nardy of PCPR- 0929 9707910

Marj of AGHAM Youth: 0916 3746711

There will be an orientation of those who are interested to join on March 24, 5pm at the Agham Youth tambayan (Vinzons Hill Tambayan Complex)





Youth Jog Against BNPP Revival

24 03 2009

Press Release
March 19, 2009

“Save Mother Earth! Save our Health! Save our Future!”
Youth and students jog in protest against the BNPP Revival

The Youth STOP BNPP Revival! (Youth and Students Opposed to BNPP Revival) organized a protest jog against the BNPP revival on March 19, 2009, 5pm at the UP Academic Oval.

The alliance convenors say that the protest jog symbolizes the youth and students’ aspiration to have a good future by taking care of our planet and our health.

Co-convenor and UP Club EcoTour Chairperson Jonaleen Kris-Ann Argel says that “the BNPP puts the Philippine environment in great danger. The various flora and fauna which we can be proud of, found not only in Bataan but in the whole country, will be destroyed in the event of a nuclear accident.”

“The youth will suffer the most,” says Marjorie Pamintuan, Youth STOP BNPP Revival! spokesperson and Vice Chairperson of AGHAM Youth (Student Advocates of Science and Technology for the People). “Running the plant effectively takes away our chances of having a good future by worsening the economic burdens of our families through imposed taxes and threatening our well being because of its environmental and health effects.”

Aside from damaging our environment and putting our healths at risk, the nuclear power plant also endangers the youth and students’ right to education. “It exposes the government’s abandonment of its responsibility to provide the youth with affordable or free quality education by choosing to invest $1 billion on a dangerous nuclear power plant instead of using it to build new schools, improve public school facilities and sponsor scholarships to poor and deserving students,” adds co-convenor Jemimah Garcia, chairperson of Anakbayan UP Diliman.

The youth jog is one among the series of campaigns prepared by the alliance to oppose the revival of the nuclear power plant. Last Friday, March 13, the Youth STOP BNPP Revival! (Youth and Students Opposed to BNPP Revival) was successfully launched at a forum held at the College of Engineering. Over a hundred individuals signed up in the unity statement of the alliance during the forum. In solidarity with the Bataan youth, alliance delegates will head for Morong, Bataan on March 26 to participate in the next day’s prayer rally against the BNPP revival. ###

Participants doing stretching and warm-up exercises before the jog

Participants doing stretching and warm-up exercises before the jog

All smiles and ready to...jog.

All smiles and ready to...jog.

Participants also signed on the STOP BNPP Revival Banner

Participants also signing on the STOP BNPP Revival Banner

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Participants take a brief rest in front of the the Quezon Hall

Participants take a brief rest in front of the the Quezon Hall

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Forum Launching of Youth STOP BNPP Revival!

24 03 2009

The Youth and Students Opposed to Bataan Nuclear Power Plant Revival (STOP BNPP Revival!) is an alliance of student organizations and youth individuals strongly opposing the current effort of the Philippine government to immediately recommission and operate the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP). The alliance was launched on March 13, 2009 in a forum at UP Diliman.

March 13 Forum Poster

Prof. Ric Saturay of UP NIGS talking about the geological hazards surrounding the BNPP

Prof. Ric Saturay of UP NIGS talking about the geological hazards surrounding the BNPP

Gem of Anakbayan Engineering talking on how the BNPP revival will affect student and youth rights

Gem of Anakbayan Engineering talking on how the BNPP revival will affect student and youth rights

Attendees signed the unity statement/petition

Attendees signed the unity statement/petition

Students signing the banner

Students signing the banner

Students showed their support for the campaign by signing on the banner

Students showed their support for the campaign by signing on the banner





Youth Speak: Four Points on Students’ Stake in the BNPP Revival Issue

20 03 2009

Released on March 12, 2009

STAND-UP CS asserts that the youth and students, especially the Iskolar ng Bayan, are major stakeholders in the issue of the BNPP Revival, and that the problems we face in education are inextricably linked to the aforementioned issue under the following points:

·         The youth stand to be the most at risk from the health, economic, and environmental consequences of an unsafe BNPP operation. The youth compose the majority of the Philippine population, pegged at more than 40% of the total population in 2005.

 

 

·         The probabilities of corruption and an imposed nuclear tax will only serve to further divert government subsidy that should have instead been spent on basic social services such as our education. During the Marcos regime, around $2.3 Billion (or about P112.7 billion today) was estimated to have been wasted in corruption. At present, a projected $1 Billion cost needed to revive BNPP operations will again be open to corruption.

 

 

 

·         The resultant high energy costs should the BNPP operate under private, foreign ownership, will further burden the expenses of colleges and universities, especially students. Under the LTHEDP, the government’s burden of subsidizing university expenditures will be shifted to the students. An example would be the P300-Million maintenance and other operating expenditures (MOOE) budget cut in UP this 2009 alongside the proposed 100 new laboratory fees throughout the UP system.

 

 

·         The collective action of the youth and students remains an essential tool for genuine social change. Students have historically been at the forefront of the struggles of the Filipino people, and the BNPP issue is no exception.

 

Education & Research Committee AY 2008-2009

Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP

(STAND-UP) College of Science Chapter

 

 

 

 





In the News: Youth forms own group vs. BNPP revival

20 03 2009

MALABON CITY, March 18, 2009—A youth group has organized itself in order to opposed plans of having the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) running again.

Marjorie Pamintuan, spokesperson of the newly organized Youth STOP BNPP Revival or the Youth and Students Opposed to BNPP Revival said in a statement, it is the youth that will suffer the most if the controversial BNPP will be revived.

“To have the plant running, the government will impose additional taxes. And with the plant running, the threat for the environment and the health of the people is there,” she said.

UP Club EcoTour chairperson Jonaleen Kris-Ann Argel explained that BNPP puts the Philippine environment in great danger as nuclear accident can annihilate different species of flora and fauna, even people.

Currently, there are bills pending in the House of Representatives and the Senate pushing for the operation of the plant.

The bills proponents are Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco, son of businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco who now owns 23 percent of the Meralco shares, and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a known Palace-ally.

Youth STOP BNPP revival was formally launched in the University of the Philippines-Diliman last March 13. Its membership is composed of students from different universities and colleges in Manila and even in Bataan.

“Our parents and those who came before us fought against the operation of the nuclear power plant in the 1980s because they knew it will rob their children and grandchildren of a good future. It is also by that reason that we youth and students from Bataan oppose the revival of the BNPP and continue that fight that was already won, but disrespected by the proponents of the revival,” says John Paul Gelomina, a concerned student from Bataan.

Jemimah Garcia, chairperson of the UP Diliman chapter of Anakbayan, a comprehensive and progressive organization of the Filipino youth, here and abroad, said that the BNPP revival shows government’s abandonment of its responsibility to provide the youth with affordable or free quality education by choosing to invest one billion US dollars on a dangerous nuclear power plant instead of using it to build new schools, improve public school facilities and sponsor scholarships to poor and deserving students.

Meanwhile, League of Filipino Students-UP College of Science Chapter spokesperson Ram Hernandez explained that the planned reopening of the plant shows the lack of concern the government has towards the welfare of the youth and the whole population in general.

This March 19, as a campaign shoot-off, Youth STOP BNPP Revival! will have the Youth Jog Against BNPP Revival at the UP Academic Oval and on March 26, they will hold a prayer rally in Morong, Bataan as a sign of their solidarity and care with the youth of Bataan.

The diocese of Balanga, Bataan under Bishop Soc Villegas is at the forefront of those lobbying against the operationalization of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. – Noel Sales Barcelona, CBCPnews.com