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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Brownout: More fun in Nasugbu

Repost from Taga Nasugbu Facebook Page. Just spreading the word. Please share.

An Open Letter to Hon. Mayor Antonio Barcelon, the Sangguniang Bayan ng Nasugbu (SBN) and the people of Nasugbu:

Dear Mayor Tony Barcelon & SBN,

We’re certain you all are aware of the on-going brown-outs in our town and its nearby barangays. These brown-outs, started about 2 months ago now, are consistently lasting for 12 hours minimum, every Wednesdays & Thursdays of the week and is widely believed to last for another 4 months or so. Though the Batangas 1 Electric Cooperative announces these brown-outs on regular basis, the factual reasons for its happening, unfortunately, were not being disclosed by them to the public. And worse, even you and the SBN, it seemed, are also refusing to acknowledge its disastrous effect to our town and her constituents.

Why the need for these regular brown-outs?

Though the honorable Mayor, as well as BATELEC, would not acknowledge this, it is a common fact and is known to the public that the reason behind these nasty brown-outs is the ongoing construction of 69kv transmission lines and a substation by the SM Development Corporation (SMDC). It seems only obvious that BATELEC’s total output is not that strong enough to supply Henry Sy’s projects of its required power requirements, and hence, to be able to continue its construction uninterrupted, they have to cut off their power supply to Nasugbu and its nearby barangays. In doing so, however, Nasugbu people suffers a lot. The effects of the power outages are not only the discomforts of having no electricity at homes, offices, schools… but most importantly, it deprived the common Nasugbuenos, who only depend on the electricity to exercise their trades, the means to earn their living to support them and their families.

What is the 69kv transmission and substation, and how will Nasugbu benefit from it? From what we have gathered, 69kv transmission lines are designed ONLY for INDUSTRIAL OR LARGE COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS (Such as hotels and resorts, malls and large manufacturing plants like the Steelcorp in Balayan). And this will NOT, in any way, supply the needs for electricity of the Municipality. It is glaringly clear all the benefits of having the substation at Hamilo Coast will be Henry Sy’s, not Nasugbu’s.

The transmission is required to supply the required power to run Henry Sy’s various projects at the Hamilo Coast and Pico de Loro. These projects include building of class A resorts and a 5 (or 7) star hotel, to cater especially Sy’s wealthy clients. These projects, once completed and operational, though they would not explicitly say, would be exclusively open for its members and their kinds only, and hence it will not surprise us, Nasugbuenos, if we found ourselves alien to our own place as we too, will be banned from entering them.

Constructing the 69kv transmission is not that simple task. The transmission is designed to be connected directly to its power source, the BATELEC, and in doing so, foremost is erecting the numerous structural posts needed to support the cables necessary to run the electricity power direct to the substation which in turn, would allocate them to various establishments at Hamilo and Pico de Loro. This would involve cutting off trees obstructing the power posts. Trees, some of which were numerous years old and mostly serve as habitat of birds, insects and other wildlifes in the forest and mountains on way to Hamilo and Pico de Loro. And trees, which were the very reasons why Nasugbu has been spared from the disastrous effect of flooding especially during the devastating ‘Ondoy’…

In this regard, we are requesting your good office and the Sangguniang Bayan Officials, to issue a public statement and call for a Public Consultation to find ways on how to lessen the impact of the said brownouts to our municipality. Please be reminded that to protest against stubborn corporations like SMDC or Batelec is NOT a move which hinders economic development - it just makes sure that this development is sustainable. The money that these corporate entities have made them just as powerful as any government unit. And just like the government, these corporations should be checked and their actions should be ANSWERABLE to the people.

Thank you very much.

Concerned Citizens of Nasugbu

Photo credit: Taga Nasugbu Facebook Page

A fellow Nasugbueno Chinky Villanueva Samonte have a very insightful comment about the said issue:

"Sa loob ng isang linggo, 2 araw na nakakaranas ng brownout ang Nasugbu, eto pala ang dahilan...magiging katulad ba tayo ng Baguio, na walang pakundangang nilapastangan ang kapaligiran dahil sa isang makapangyarihan? Huwag naman sana...hindi lang brownout ang issue sa ating bayan...may mas higit pa. Kaya sana pag-isipan natin, ano ba talaga ang dapat gawin?"

Ano pa nga ba? :D Please share.

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