Sagada folks question windfarm’s effects on environment, IP rights

>> Sunday, May 27, 2012

By Gina Dizon

SAGADA, Mountain Province -- Whether  windmills  shall displace trees, disrupt water systems, and harm  biodiversity  were some of questions posed  during the consultation  on the proposed windfarm  here,  conducted by  the Sagada-Besao Windmill Corporation and Phil Carbon.  
A  proposed  15  megawatt windfarm  costing  $24.8 million per megawatt  was proposed to be built by Phil Carbon along the windy Pilaw  Ridge found  between the boundary of  Sagada and Besao municipalities.
Bangaan resident and elder Angela Yocogan  expressed alarm that  trees will  be displaced where the windmills  shall be  erected.
Found near the proposed windfarm are  springs serving as  sources of water for  the residents of Poblacion ,Sagada and  nearby residents of  Madongo and Bangaan barangays.
Residents asked if windmill turbines measuring 80 feet in height and rotor blades  65  meters in diameter would stunt trees from growing near the rotor blades.
It is not determined  yet how many turbines shall be constructed,  Phil Carbon president Ruth Owen  said.
Provincial Environment and  Natural Resources Office- Mountain Province  Director  Manuel Pogeyed  who hails from Bangaan,  said “local particularities” have to be taken note of by  Phil Carbon in the  proposed construction of  the windfarm.
The environs of  Pilaw  Ridge is site of fishponds, cows and carabaos  pastured to add to  the diverse fauna and flora of  the watershed. 
Whether the windmills  shall  harm  the lives  and  health of the  animals   was  asked by Gwen Longid of the Sagada-based Tangguyub Peoples Center.    
The  Pilaw-Ampakaw Ridge is  path of  birds migrating from other countries during  the  rainy months of  August to  October.  
It was noted that bird paths crossing  windmills were a major concern in other countries where  this pose lethal effects  to  birds’  injury or death  when crossing the windmills. 
Should the Sagada-Besaowindfarm be constructed, it shall be the first  to be  installed in a mountainous area in the Philippines.
Windmills  in Bangui, Ilocos Norte were constructed along  the beach.  
Sagada along with  other Cordillera communities  is located within pine tree-clad  mountainous  areas reaching as high  as  Mt Pulag’s 2,992 meters above  sea level in Benguet. 

Sagada  is bounded by  the Pilaw-Ampakaw  mountain ridge bordering Besao on the west. 
At the  north-west  borders  Abra province and Besao with  the mossy  Sisipitan and  Boasaw watersheds.
The  southern side of the town is bordered by Bauko town  separated by the watershed mountains  of  Polis. 
The  west bordered by  Sabangan municipality has tree-clad  mountains  while the northern part of the municipality is   bordered  by  the capital town of Bontoc separated by a watershed  cradling the  Amlusong river.  
Officials said an environmental  impact assessment   on accordance with the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act  (IPRA) and related laws  is required before  a project shall ensue in any indigenous peoples community.
This shall serve as one of the basis for people to decide on whether or not to give their consent in the building of a project within their community, they said.   
Ruth Owen  said  the environmental study  shall be  done by  Phil Carbon before the end of the year.

The DENR  shall validate the report done by  Phil Carbon,  Pogeyed said.
Patay Poblacion  barangay captain  Billy Baldo said a  barangay  resolution allowed Phil Carbon’s exploration to be done but not the actual operations of  the windfarm.
Further consultations were set on the matter.


Anonymous January 14, 2013 at 11:24 PM  

Sure Locals have their own thoughts regarding this stupid idea but i think the local people who are pro on this should really give it a thought especially the politicians on top, remember that once we said yes to these corporations next thing they would do is to prospect for more spots to build their stupid wind farm, for they will just be the once who will benefit from it not the people of tiny Sagada. Shame on the people who are pro- i know you lads

Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 2:09 AM  

let's just keep an open mind and wait for the results of a feasibility study. There's nothing to worry about a premature construction of the said project before the feasibility study is done and reported to the authorities involved.

Laine February 17, 2013 at 12:55 AM  

Those stupid people as you call them will in the future be powering your internet connection so you could put all your efforts on name-calling. Please think before you speak. It's better to know the facts first before opening your big mouths and closing your minds to such developments. If you're not fond of these developers coming into town, then don't call them stupid. And who are you to shame your fellow locals who are trying to understand this project's benefits and disadvantages? Who are you to call these developers stupid when in fact they wouldn't have thought about a 'wind farm' if they were stupid as you call them? Think! Think! Think! Who's stupid now?

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