Pangasinan worries about fish cages near Sual coal-fired power plant

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, (PNA)– Gov. Amado Espino Jr. expressed serious concern over the proliferation of commercial fish cages in Baquioen Bay, specifically in an area near the Sual Coal-fired Power Plant.

This was gleaned when he called an emergency meeting among heads of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Philippine Ports Authority, and the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau at the Lingayen Resort Hotel last Thursday.

He responded to the complaint made by Ruben Licerio, vice president for operations of Team Energy that runs the power Sual plant that the unabated proliferation of fish cages in the area may endanger the facility’s operations.

According to BFAR, the number of fish cages in the area has mushroomed from only 400 in April to 778 as of July 16 this year.

“Since the facility is a national facility and the governor is in charge with safeguarding the public welfare in the province of Pangasinan, he called the agencies that are supposed to have jurisdiction over the particular area,” said Provincial Administrator Rafael Howard F. Baraan.

Baraan said that a thorough investigation and study will be made before recommendations will finally be considered.

“The local government unit is the one that issued permits therefore we will be conferring with the LGU, the fish cage operators and Team Energy to agree on a solution otherwise the agencies concerned will have to act accordingly,” Baraan said.

However, it appears that Team Energy’s concern is centered on the safety of the plant.