A lot of businesses and parties have attempted to invest or put up a branch in Sagada, a town resort in the mountainous region of the Philippines. However, only a few were able to favorably get the trust of locals there.
The most successful up to date is the Episcopal Church which introduced Anglicanism in the region. Now, PhilCarbon, a Manila-based renewable energy firm, is on the process of persuading locals to allow the construction of a windmill farm in the area.
PhilCarbon needed to explain to locals the benefits and sacrifices in relation to the proposed windmill farm. The company took effort in explaining issues on government taxes, livelihood opportunities, community responsibilities, and environmental concerns.
However, some locals are still worried about the damages the project might give. Locals asked about the farm’s effect on water supply, animals, culture, electric bills, and even ghosts.
During dialogues, some locals working aboard cleared out misperceptions about windmill farms. PhiCarbon Chairman Engr. Rufino Bomas-ang, a native of Besao who took his secondary education in Sagada, expressed that he is not “selling” the two towns to the company’s interests.
To provide a better picture of the project, PhilCarbon brought some local leaders to the nearest windmill farm in the Philippines. Some conclude that the project is more beneficial than harmful; others think of the opposite.
A meteorological mast- which some locals mistakenly identified to a wind turbine- has already been set up along the Pilao- Langsayan Ridge which is the target location of the windmill farm.
After the public consultations and information dissemination drive, local leaders will vote whether or not to allow construction of the windmill farm in the area that gave way to the erection of telecom towers in the past years.
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