Save Palawan from coal, environmental groups appeal

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Save Palawan from coal, environmental groups urge
Environmental groups appealed to government to Save Palawan from coal. (Image from ABS-CBN News)

Different environmental groups in the country urged government agencies to ‘Save Palawan from Coal.”

The environmentalist groups called the attention of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to stop the coal power plant project in Palawan.

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The Green Thumb Coalition appealed for a moratorium for the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued to DMCI Power-Palawan for its 15 megawatts coal-fired power plant in July 2019.

According to a GMA News report, the 15MW Circulating Fluidized Bed Thermal Power Plant project, which will be located at Brgy. Bato-Bato can utilize renewable fuel or biomass.

DMIC Power-Palawan said, “Moreover, the project was recently certified as an Energy Project of National Significance (EPNS) by the Department of Energy (DOE) in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to stabilize the power supply in Palawan.”

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Gerthie Mayo Anda, Environmental Legal Assistance Center Executive Director said: “We hope that the Department of Energy and DENR will heed the President’s call and not allow new coal projects in the country, especially as cleaner and cheaper alternatives are available through renewable energy.”

Anda also said that DMCI’s ECC was “ironic.” President Rodrigo Duterte said in his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22 that he wanted lesser reliance on coal energy.

Save Palawan from coal movement

In 2017, a Change.org petition against a coal plant in Palawan was established by Cynthia Sumagaysay – del Rosario. The petition reads:

“We have successfully stopped the DMCI coal plant in Palawan three times before; we can do it again. Palawan, declared by travelers worldwide as the “Best Island in the World” is not the right place for a coal plant. Sign this petition to send the message to DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) Secretary Roy Cimatu.”

It garnered over 2,000 supports and somehow became successful until the ECC for DMCI last July.

Palawan is a world-renowned tourist destination in the Philippines. Among its top tourist spots are Underground River, El Nido, Coron, and Puerto Princesa.

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