1,000 signatures reached
To: Local Government Units of Puerto Princesa City and Palawan Province, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Energy
OPPOSE COAL FIRED POWER PLANT IN PALAWAN (and the rest of the country)
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources' Environmental Management Bureau has just issued an Environmental Compliance Certificate to DMCI Power. (See https://palawan-news.com/denr-gives-go-ahead-to-palawan-coal-plant/)
Revoke all issuances and permits to build and operate a coal-fired power plant in Palawan and the rest of the country.
Push for an immediate transition to safe, clean, and affordable energy. Ensure just and fair transition to renewable energy sources and reject false solutions; support the use of solar power in our homes and institutions... ; promote, advocate and invest in renewable energy (solar, hydro, wind and geothermal power); join the campaign to immediately phase out coal-fired power plants and all other plants dependent on fossil-fuel, including coal mining. (2019 CBCP Pastoral Letter on Ecology, An Urgent Call for Ecological Conversion: Hope in the Face of Climate Emergency)
Why is this important?
Palawan is an island that has prided itself in being the "World's Best Island", home of the UNESCO heritage sites: Tubbataha Reefs and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park, not to mention its other local human and wildlife inhabitants that have benefited from the clean air, water and land from it being coal-free.
Back in 2014, former president Aquino said that Palawan needs adequate energy to cater to the 10 million tourists projected for 2016. “A lot of these tourists will be going to Palawan. I am sure you are aware of all the developments that are happening here plus iyong airport, i-u-upgrade din natin. And all of that plus the upstream and downstream industries will need power. And if it’s not available, then practically we are saying, parang wala na rin iyong tourism na big industry dito or iyong growth, or projected growth." (see https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/606179/aquino-not-keen-on-coal-free-palawan)
But growth at what expense? Would locals not prefer a future of clean air, clean water, clean land and thriving wildlife over throngs of tourists promising "growth and development"? And what then would tourists actually keep coming for if the island's health is compromised with an unsustainable coal plant and other unsustainable infrastructure built with a short-sighted goal in mind?
But civil society movements and some LGUs have shown that we can resist this from happening. They realize that there's so much at stake, and so much we need to protect. (see https://businessmirror.com.ph/2018/08/05/lgus-going-green-rejecting-coal-projects/)
Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda, who is one of the lead convenors of the civil society group Save Palawan Movement (SPM) said: “Kapag natayo ‘yan, magsisisihan na tayo sa impact. Ang hirap na nyan matanggal once that is set up. The basis that it is of national significance, with all due respect, is not sound because all they have to do is to look at the Palawan Island Power Development Plan (PIPDP). Coal is not a least cost option. Ang least cost option doon ay combination of mini hydro with diesel and bunker. We have enough power supply”. (see https://palawan-news.com/denr-gives-go-ahead-to-palawan-coal-plant/)
Furthermore, the civil society group in Palawan, among others who oppose the building of new coal plants, has claimed that, apart from negating any advances we make in addressing climate change, coal power projects are dangerous to human health as it releases a number of airborne toxins and pollutants, among them mercury, lead, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and other particulates.