Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Survey: Environment ranks higher than power

A SURVEY by a relatively new social weather institute in Davao shows that Dabawenyos are more concerned about environment protection than power generation. Dr. Maria Linda Arquiza, Institute of Popular Opinion (IPO) assistant vice president for research and publication, speaking in Monday's Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Dabaw, said majority or 88.7 percent of the Dabawenyos surveyed agreed that protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of limited amount of power supply. Arquiza said the survey has around 1,150 respondents, aged 18 and above. The survey was conducted in May this year. She said only eight percent of the Dabawenyos surveyed favored the development of more power plants using non-renewable resources at the expense of environmental destruction. Maian Cozo, health and environment specialist of IPO, said the people of Davao still believes in the importance of environmental protection despite the incessant power interruptions last summer. This can be attributed to their experience on environment-related calamities like flooding and landslide, which are easily linked to environmental degradation. Dabawenyos surveyed also posted higher priority for renewable sources of energy than non-renewable energy sources to address Davao City's energy problems. In the survey result, those who want development of renewable energy sources were at 95.65 percent, followed by energy conservation at 92.52 percent. Rotational brown-outs at 34.96 percent and production of more forms of non-renewable energy sources at 7.91 percent are the two least preferred solutions in solving power crisis. Increase in power rates is also a no-no for 64.03 percent who said they will not opt for continued power supply at high cost, while 35.97 percent said they would even endure power outages than face high cost of energy. Among the Dabawenyo’s top concerns is climate change, where global warming top the list of 11 pre-identified environmental issues at 92.09 percent. Deforestation ranked next with 88.87 percent of those polled saying this is among their top concerns. City flooding is a close third at 88.7 percent, energy crisis at 86.26 percent and air pollution at 85.22 percent. Pollution of drinking water comes next at 81.64 percent, followed by coastal degradation and loss of marine resources with 80.94 percent, pollution of rivers and water reservoir with 76.78 percent, mining and its effects on the environment with 69.19 percent, urbanization and loss of open/free spaces with 68.43 percent, and maintenance of the city's fresh water supply with 66.78 percent.