Friday, February 26, 2016

‘Goodbye trees, hello solar power’

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

CURRIMAO, Ilocos NorteEnvironment advocates in the province of Ilocos Norte failed to rescue hundreds of trees massacred at Brgy. Paguludan to give way to a 60-hectare solar power field, the largest so far in Luzon.

In time for the kick-off rally of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. with his running mate Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago who are running for the countrys top two posts, the first grid -connected solar power farm in the province was inaugurated on February 9, attended by local officials here.

Funded by Soleq Philippines Inc. in cooperation with the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte through a co-development agreement, the 20-megawatt solar power farm is expected to power up some 26,000 households or at least 50 percent of the provinces power requirement for clean energy.

This is something the Ilocos Norte should be proud of because we continue to reduce our environmental footprint through clean energy. And we will continue to support project like this because this is our future and our childrens future that are stake here, said Mr. Marcos who was the guest of honor at the inauguration.

Of the proposed 1,281 trees to be cut which environmentalist group here expressed strong opposition to, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources reduced it to 180 trees provided that the company will replenish it.

Under the agreement, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources officer Juan delos Reyes said that for every tree that was cut, it shall be replaced with 300 trees as directed by the DENR-Central Office.

This is a first of a kind because normally the DENR recommends that for every tree to be cut, in favor of a green project, there shall be a replacement of 100 trees and ensure that these are properly taken cared of for the first three years after planting.

According to Mr. Delos Reyes, the tree replacement will also be enrolled as part of the National Greening Program as an added accomplishment of the DENR in partnership with the private sector.

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