Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo is known for being consistent in his support for the environmental struggles of local communities by providing them with his technical expertise.
He has analyzed and explained the impacts of many environmentally critical big-ticket projects, including planned and ongoing multibillion peso reclamation undertakings in Manila Bay and the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, which was mothballed by the former Dictator Ferdinand Marcos after a strong nationwide movement in the 1980s exposed and opposed the project for corruption and safety reasons.
For these and other acts, Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo is known to be a defender of communities undermined by greedy business interests. Many people’s organizations such as the National Federation of Small Fisherfolks Organizations in the Philippines or PAMALAKAYA, and the alliances of such groups like the Alliance for Stewardship and Authentic Progress, the People’s Network for the Integrity of Coastal Habitats and Ecosystems (People’s NICHE) and the No to BNPP Revival Alliance, all recognize his contribution to defending Filipino communities over profit.
Dr. Rodolfo is also known for his firm recognition of the important role scientists play in creating evidence-based government policies. He has advocated the use of the expertise of Filipino scientists in drafting policies intended for critical projects, and in the national Environmental Impact System, to replace the current practice of relying on foreign consultants to undertake the technical reviews of such projects.
In 2009, Dr. Rodolfo laid down and popularized the scientific reasons that BNPP should not be allowed to operate. His study showed geologic hazards associated with the BNPP, which is located in Mt. Natib, a “calderagenic” volcano characterized as having eruptions may be very infrequent but are very violent when they do happen. This revealed the potential catastrophe that could occur if the BNPP’s revival is pushed.
Dr. Rodolfo has also repeatedly warned the government that reclamation projects in Manila Bay might bring disaster to Metro Manila’s huge population of 20 million.
Areas that have experienced decades of land subsidence from over-extraction of groundwater, such as Caloocan, Malabon and Navotas, may become more vulnerable to storm surges by reclamation projection around the bay. Another geological hazard associated with reclamation is the occurrence of liquefaction during earthquakes or even milder seismic activity.
In 2016, the bidding for the Laguna Lake Expressway Dike (LLDA) failed after Dr. Rodolfo exposed the project’s risks, including aggravated flooding, decrease in the lake’s size and the danger of the dike itself rupturing in an earthquake that can occur as it is found two kilometers east of fault segments.