Imminent danger

    There is an imminent danger. It is about to erupt in our faces but the national government is not lifting a finger to stop it even if it can. It was said that 190 members of the House of Representatives are now rushing to approve a $1 billion appropriation for the rehabilitation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

    The proposal to rehabilitate the nuclear plant was revived anew by Pangasinan Rep. Mike Cojuangco through House Bill No. 4631, which was filed in July 2008.

    Today, the House is silently rushing to approve the bill. The national government can stop this if only to ensure the safety of our people and protect this country from making a definitely huge mistake.

    The only way to stop the Congress from their unfounded move is to release the 28-volume report by the American National Union of Scientists Corp. (NUSC) that was used by the Aquino administration then to close the BNPP.

    Dr. Nicolas Perlas, the only Filipino in the technical panel of that Corazon Aquino administration-commissioned NUSC study, said there were about 40,000 defects found on the BNPP.

    Perlas said that “the moment that’s shown to the public then it’s very clear that we don’t need a nuclear plant because all the evidence is there.” Perlas added that there were serious errors like wrong electrical installations aside from the fact that the power plant could not withstand earthquakes.

    Now, this leaves us pondering on the question why Malacanang and the Congress refuse to show the NUSC report.

    There are only two possible answers I could come up to resolve this mystery. First, the Arroyo administration could be really hell-bent in rehabilitating the power plant and plans to seriously repair these defects.

    In doing so, the Philippine government will have to spend $1.2 billion initial fund to rehabilitate the nuclear plant. This is not mentioning the additional funds that will be needed for its operations and maintenance.

    It is possible that the administration strongly believes on the feasibility of the proposed rehabilitation that it could generate enough power to supply Metro Manila and other major cities In Central Luzon.

    On a second thought though, another reason could be the 2010 elections. What? You might ask what could be the connection between the 2010 elections and the nuclear power plant.

    The answer could be found in the $1.2 billion rehabilitation fund. Who knows? It could be the exact opposite of my first assumption. This time there is really no plan to rebuild the power plant. All the government need is the funding to be released and then, everything could be possible.

    Some officials of the government are expert in this kind of operation. The government releases money for a certain project that is actually not there. They call it “ghost projects” or “ghost deliveries.” Look at what happened to the Fertilizer Scam. Now, all we have is a series of futile investigations in the Senate that do not really materialize into concrete criminal cases.

    Remember that many members of the House are seeking reelection comes 2010. For all we know, the election operators are given a “quota” to generate as many funds as possible for the next elections. I just hope I am wrong. But come to think of it, we would be too naïve not to know.

    Now, going back to the real danger. The House of Representatives should at least reconsider its decision on the BNPP, especially now that the public know about the NUSC report. Prove me wrong and do the right thing. Rehabilitating this power plant will only expose our people to danger and more debts.


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