Group wants $2.9M 23 bio ethanol farms dismantled in Bohol

THE militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya)  urged Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto to dismantle the 23 bio ethanol farms previously cultivated in 23 coastal towns of the province.

While the project is currently put on hold due to the resistance of small fisherfolk and other environmental groups, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said Governor Chatto should start removing seaweed farms already established in 23 towns and currently hosting seedlings for seaweed in connection with the proposed bio ethanol project all over Bohol between the provincial government and the Seoul-based Korean firm Biolsystems Co, Ltd.

According to Pamalakaya chapter in Bohol— the Bol-Anong Kahugpongan sa mga Kabus nga Nangisda ug Nanagat (Bokkana), prior to the shelving of the $ 2.9 million bio ethanol project, the Korean bio ethanol company had already cultivated  not less than 3,700 hectares for seaweed farming in 23 coastal towns of the island province, and 2,000 hectares of the bio ethanol farms are found in the coastal area of Bien Unido and 739 hectares off the waters of Talibon.

Hicap said Gov. Chatto and the 23 mayors of Bohol who signed the bio ethanol pact with Korea should rescind the contract and order the urgent and unconditional dismantling of seaweed farms. “The governor and the 23 mayors should now proceed with the scrapping of the project.

Bohol Island into a Republic of Seaweeds and Bio Ethanol is not in the interest of the Boholano people,” said Hicap.

Bokkana-Bohol secretary general Paula Destor said aside from Bien Unido and Talibon,  seaweed farms for the bio ethanol project were also constructed in Inabanga (90 hectares), Getafe (513 hectares), CP Garcia (65 hectares), Ubay (30 hectares), Mabini (67 hectares), Buenavista (38 hectares), Panglao (40 hectares), Anda (15 hectares), Valencia (22 hectares), Guindulman (20 hectares)  Baclayon (10 hectares) and Calape (10 hectares).

“Seaweeds farms are all over Bohol and the small fisherfolk are prevented from fishing near bio ethanol farms. If they get near these seaweed plantations, they will be harassed by security personnel of bio ethanol farms,” she said.

Destor said seaweed farms for bio ethanol extraction are also eyed in the coastal municipalities of Tubigon, Clarin, Dauis, Candijay, Jagna, Dimiao, Duero, G. Hernandez, Loon, Maribojoc, Loay, Tagbilaran City, Alburquerque and Cortes.

The Bokkana leader said bio ethanol project also targets 6,000 hectares off waters of DanajonBank areas, a rare marine resource system in Asia which provides livelihood to small fisherfolk.

Destor said the Korean bio ethanol firm initially wants to put seaweed farms in 3,817 hectares off the waters of Bien Unido, 3,470 hectares in Talibon, 2,491 hectares in Inabanga, 2,037 hectares in Getafe, 1,145 hectares in CP Garcia, 903 hectares in Ubay, 855 hectares in Tubigon, 585 hectares in Mabini, 535 hectares in Buenavista, 290 hectares in Panglao, 288 hectares in Candijay, 247 hectares in Anda, 210 hectares in Jagna, 302 hectares in Valencia, 300 hectares in Guindulman, 224 hectares in Loay, 190 hectares in G Hernandez and 260 hectares in Calape

Bokkana said the case of bio ethanol project in Bohol was already referred to Anakpawis party list Rep. Rafael Mariano for congressional investigation. The group said it will also seek the support of other congressmen on the demand of affected fisherfolk and concerned sectors to look into the proliferation of seaweed farms for bio ethanol project in Bohol.

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