Compliance with Laws Vowed by Power firms.(Main News)

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Byline: EDMER F. PANESA

The countrys top coalfired power companies have vowed to comply with all existing environmental laws amidst the controversy that their plants produce toxic emissions that pose enormous hazards to human health and the environment.

In a manifesto of compliance and commitment addressed to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plants (CFTPP) group made the commitment that they are complying and will continue to comply with all applicable environmental rules, regulations, and policies.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Heherson T. Alvarez and Energy Secretary Vicente S. Perez Jr. received, on behalf of President Arroyo, the manifesto presented in rites held at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City last Wednesday.

The manifesto was signed by Mirant Philippines Corp. President and CEO Edgardo Bautista, Napocor OIC-President and CEO Roland Quilala, Quezon Power Co. General Manager Burt Lucarelli, and Salcon Power Corp. President Dennis Villareal.

The CFTPP executives were accompanied by the plant managers of coal-power plants in Calaca, Masinloc, Naga, Pagbilao, Mauban, Sual, and Toledo.

Alvarez said he welcomes the initiative from the coal power plants as "an assurance that they work in hand with the government in ensuring a healthy environment for our people."

"Cleaning up the environment is a formidable task and the environment department cannot do this alone. We need the concerted efforts of all sectors to address the problems of pollution," Alvarez added. …