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. ###