Climate justice, civil groups score victory against fossil gas project in Bataan

May 18, 2022

Pro-environment organizations on May 17 scored a victory after the Authority of the Freeport Area Bataan (AFAB) declared the “public scoping” of a fossil gas project null and void.

The groups filed a petition against the Mariveles LNG Terminal Project of Samat LNG corporation for violating several laws ensuring that due process is observed and members of the affected community are given the chance to participate in any public hearing. 

The groups said the project proponent conducted a “public scoping” on May 17 “despite failure to publish the notice on the newspaper,” on its website, in conspicuous places in the affected community, which is “required under the law.”

Lawyer Aaron Pedrosa of the Philippines Movement for Climate Justice said the posting and publication requirements “are not mere rules of procedure but are actually jurisdictional in nature.”

“They are essential in ensuring that due process is observed and that the members of the community can meaningfully participate in these consultations. No public scoping should ever be held without complying with these requirements,” he said.

Derek Cabe, coordinator of the group Nuclear and Coal Free Bataan Movement, lauded AFAB for “nullifying the bogus public scoping.” 

Cabe, however, said that the “fight against this LNG project is far from being over,” adding, “We must remain vigilant of any attempts by Samat LNG to circumvent the provisions of the law.”

The Mariveles LNG Terminal is proposed to be built in Sisiman village in Mariveles, Bataan with a total project area of 37,729m² and with production/capacity of 14,400m³.

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