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Approve Sagada-Besao Windmill Farm Project for Our Children

(Most pictures are lifted from other sites. No copyright infringement intended.)

When the Department of Energy (DOE) found out that the Pilao-Langsayan Ridge between Sagada and Besao produces good wind output, the government agency was sure a Sagada-Besaowindmill farm project can save the world from the danger of coal and other more hazardous sources of energy and can open the two towns to countless opportunities.

A group of Japanese experts confirmed that the Pilao-Langsayan Ridge can bring good news not just to the people of the Cordilleras but also to Filipinos in the Luzon peninsula. Renewable company PhilCarbon, whose Chairman Engr. Rufino Bomas-ang is considered the father of the two Mountain Province towns, is awarded the contract to push through with the windmill project.

As a person who was raised in Sagada, I have seen how private companies and organizations came to our homes to serenade us to allow them to expand in our very dear town. Among the recent firms include Smart and Globe Telecoms.

At first my people were hesitant about letting in strange people in our locality but when they realize the benefits overweighing the sacrifices we made for them, everyone agrees that we made the right choice.

When I first learned about the windmill project, I showed interest immediately. I spent my time reading articles about windmills because I wanted to be equipped with essential information about this technology before forwarding to more concerns in line with our decision if we should or not allow the project to happen.

Since I love Sagada very much and I wanted to be part of this milestone, I went home to get first-hand information from people involved. I did not want to rely on hearsays and even news stories about the issue. First-hand data is the most credible ever.

I did not mind being absent from work just to go home to Sagada and listen to what PhilCarbon wants from us and what our dear folks want from the renewable energy firm.

Seriously, I went to see Engr. Bomas-ang and Ms. Ruth Yu-Owen even if I knew I was not that big to shake hands with them. They were down to earth and were completely willing to sit with me and listen to my questions.

However, the core of the experience was to be with our folks from Besao and Sagada in two separate dialogues. I was there listening to every question of the folks and every answer that PhilCarbon provided.

I understand that the concept of “windmill” is new to us. To enlighten our folks about this, PhilCarbon brought two batches of leaders and elders to the Banqui Windmill Farm in Ilocos Norte.

During the dialogues, it was obvious that my folks were worried about the windmill will affect their water supply and can create environmental hazards. They threw all their questions admitting that they hear too many myths about the project, and they want answers from the real authority.

PhilCarbon assured our folks that if they own a lot covered in the proposed farm area, it will be leased upon the owner's discretion. PhilCarbon also pointed out that there are laws to minimize sacrifices. And that the DOE, Local Government Unit, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and other authorities are monitoring every step to make sure all these laws are implemented protecting the lives and rights of every person in the two communities.

Engr. Bomas-ang was there speaking in our Kankanaey dialect to make sure that every message is clear and that there was an effective communication between the two parties.

I trust our government because we are the ones who electedand placed them there. (We should responsible for what we have been voting for) And I will always cooperate to make sure that the laws on this concern are implemented strictly.

I know of some people who are against the project. I believe their opposition is the result of the lack of absence during consultations to hear the exact framework of this project and ask every question in their heads.

On the other hand, supports of the project include President Noynoy Aquino himself, Sagada mayor Eduardo Latawan Jr., former Sagada mayor Thomas Killip and many more.

The proposed windmill farm may not be perfect and may not be the best alternative, but the opportunities it will bring is truly something that can help everyone. Our folks based in Europe and America can attest to that because no country has ever regretted for putting up windmill farms.

If the project will push through, Sagada, Besao and other towns will be using wind energy which is unlimited from God. These shall no longer depend on the hyrdo (dams), geothermal (heat), nuclear (Bataan), coal and other sources of energy that have been causing too much environmental and health troubles to us.

The project will bring royalty taxes to both towns. PhilCarbon scored that it will set aside community development fees for the two towns on top of the government-mandated taxes.
The windmill farm project will also make Sagada and Besao a center of attraction for students who are interested to see renewable energy facilities for their Science class. Therefore, more livelihood and tourism will boost everyone’s life. The windmill farm can be a good alternative to Sumaguing Cave as the top tourist attraction in Sagada.

I am excited to see developments the project will bring in to our backyards in Sagada and Besao. These developments are not for me. But for our children who will see a better Sagada- maybe a first class town when they open their eyes to the world.

As an open-minded person, I do not believe that trying this new technological advance will not hurt us. I know we will sacrifice minimal things, but we will gain more.

I do not want to get older and have my grandchildren blame me for making Sagada a static town, which should have entertained development for the betterness of the future generation.

Approve the proposed Sagada- Besao Windmill farm now for our children!

Christian is a Marketing Communications practitioner currently working with Cathay Land. To get in touch, please shoot an email to [email protected]

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