Despite protests made by some groups, residents of Atimonan, Quezon expressed their support on the construction of a 1,200 MW power plant project in their town.
According to town Mayor Rustico Joven Mendoza, the protests are against the allegedly ongoing construction of the Atimonan One Energy (A1E) plant.
“There are no ongoing construction activities contrary to what the groups say. Atimonan One Energy is still waiting for the PSA approval,” said Mayor Mendoza.
The protest groups also reportedly claimed that there were no public consultations for the coal-powered plant but local residents said that A1E regularly updates the residents on the status of the project.
“I attended all public consultations together with my fellow fisherman and fellow Atimonanins,” said Samahan ng Maliliit na Mangingisda ng Balubad, Lubi Talaba at Kilait (SMM BALTAK) Chairman Greg de Garcia.
He also added that they are aware that the consultations are required before the issuance of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC).
“We are real Atimonanins. We live here. We work here and we will be the direct beneficiaries of the project. These groups don’t represent us and they don’t come and talk to us. The information they are spreading are false or fake news. We continue to strongly support the project,” said de Gracia.
Residents believe that the power plant will not only help the town of Atimonan but also uplift the lives of the residents.
“The project is not yet constructed but we are already benefiting from it through the different programs and activities that will not be available to us without Atimonan One Energy,” de Gracia said.
“Together with the other real Atimonanins, we believe that the project will also help our families and the next generation who will benefit from better service, more job opportunities, and improved health and educational facilities that we will get from this project,” he concluded.