By Zeph Repollo


What is the value of staying when were not given the opportunity to speak out? It loses its value of hearing people’s real concerns. We walked out to raise our opposition to the unjust process of the public hearing and the deliberate expansion project of EDC (Energy Development Corporation) at the Mount Talinis Range.

What was suppose to provide opportunity for “interested parties” to express freely our concerns, opposition, and questions about the Energy Development Corporation’s 5,163 hectares expansion project at the Mount Talinis Range turned out to be a charade of an already cooked process.

To our surprise, they already prepared names to speak during the open forum. Worst was turning off the microphone to stop the series of questions they didn’t anticipate which comes mainly from those opposing the project.

We came there to participate peacefully and prepared questions because we were invited– only to know in the actual that our voices are not welcomed. How much more the trees and animals– who cannot speak for themselves—they are left at the mercy of DENR who is suppose to extend its powers to protect them in the first place but unfortunately in this pubic hearing, they became the mouthpiece for EDC’s expansion project.

Extracting geothermal energy has limits in the case of the Mount Talinis Range. It is 1 of the 117 existing biodiversity conservation corridors in the Philippines—a key biodiversity area according to Conservation International. The 5,163 hectares development block of the Southern Negros Geothermal Power Project is within this conservation corridor. How many species are we loosing in exchange to the addition steam fields drilled at the heart of our mountain?

The Environmental Impacts Assessment where we are so eager to listen was presented in a blurry PowerPoint presentation. This is the part where the people has the right to get to the core the details for our survival is deeply connected to the water which Mount Talinis is providing, the air quality that we are all breathing, the land surface and its movements affected by its drilling, including people’s livelihood and health that will be impacted by the project–these were not sufficiently discussed.

EDC’s energy forecast reveals that we will be having a power crisis in the next years to come that is why they needed the additional 60MW to provide additional steam to operate the Nasuji Power Plant, and support other possible future developments. This for us is neglecting the fact that the damages it can cause today and the future are irreversible, specially the project’s impact to the water sources of 16 cities and municipalities coming from Mt Talinis. If we have power crisis in the next years to come, we need to look at other sources of clean, decentralized, and renewable technologies like solar rooftops that will not sacrifice our last remaining natural forest and surrounding environment at the Mount Talinis Range.

Mount Talinis is our natural heritage, our last frontier, our survival, and our birthright as Negrenses. The Public Hearing held today is sadly a failure– reflective of the tragedy it can bring to this generation and the future generations. They may turn off the microphone to silence us, but they can never stop the collective voices resounding at the ranges of Mount Talinis.

Save Mount Talinis!


Aidalyn Arabe, 0927-784-4193
Zeph Repollo, 0917-808-6865