Environmental Activists Stage Protests vs Coal Reliance

Manila Bulletin, September 6, 2018 | Go to article overview

Environmental Activists Stage Protests vs Coal Reliance


By Chito Chavez

Protesters from coal-affected communities, electric consumers, climate justice, environmental and other cause-oriented groups trooped to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and conducted simultaneous actions in different parts of the country to demand a stop on the government's 'coal obsession.

The demonstrations came on the heels of a recent Pulse Asia survey which revealed that nine out of 10 Filipinos want to shift to renewable energy source.

Aside from the protest in front of DENR main office in Quezon City, protesters from Sual, Pangasinan, Sariaya, Quezon, Atimonan, Quezon, La Union, Cebu City, Tacloban, and Ozamis also joined the said nationally coordinated demonstration.

They chided the DENR for their continued issuance of permits saying the agency should listen to the demand that 89 percent of Filipinos do not favor energy to be sourced from dirty coal.

Currently, the Philippines houses 28 operational coal plants and 28 more coal projects in the pipeline.

The protesters claimed the environment agency is expected to play a major intervention in the issuance of environmental compliance certificate (ECC) especially those projects waiting for approval for construction.

Many demonstrators who participated in a national day of action against coal said that the DENR's current position does not only worsen the current state of the environment but also enables a rise in electricity prices all over the country.

Mercy Donor of PIGLAS Kababaihan also accused the Department of Energy (DOE) for agreeing with the DENR in the building of more coal plants in the country.

"The negative impacts of coal are being felt by every consumer and much more by the communities living in the coal sites," said Teody Navea of Cebu City. …

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