More than 100 Irosin folks trooped to the local office of SKI Construction Group Inc., service contractor of the Department of Energy, to immediately stop its operations and vacate its office located in the 350,000-hectare Bulusan Volcano Natural Park (BVNP), a government-protected area that is gifted with lush vegetation teeming with exotic flora and fauna.
Led by members of the Irosin Coalition against Geothermal (ICAG), the protesters served a “notice of eviction” to the company.
The “notice of eviction” was received by SKI officer-in-charge engineer Rey Obina from former Irosin Mayor Dr. Eddie Dorotan and ICAG co-convenor Arze Glipo.
ICAG also called upon Energy Secretary Rene D. Almendras to cancel the permit given to the service contractor on the basis that the permit was based a behest contract signed by the former DOE Secretary just before the May 2010 elections. It also disregards consultation with the communities.
The action was made to express their strong opposition to SKI , which is undertaking exploration in the municipalities of Irosin, Juban and Bulusan to harness geothermal energy. The local government of Irosin as well as the barangay councils in the 8 barangays affected have already adopted a resolution demanding for a stop to SKI’s exploration.
The Bulusan Geothermal Exploration Project (BGEP) is a five-year exploration and construction activities that expects to produce some 40 megawatts of geothermal power from the BVNP, home to several endangered species of birds and animals like falcons, monkeys, deer, wild pigs, among others.