Edward Hagedorn, former mayor of Puerto Princesa City and foremost environmentalist, openly opposed plans to build a coal-fired power plant and blasted local officials for endorsing the project.
The project, to be constructed by DMCI Power Corporation’s (DPC), was endorsed by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) late last week.
“Political arrogance and self interest trumped the overwhelming voices of the people of Palawan who have vehemently opposed the plant in the last two years. The PCSD railroaded this destructive project in utter disregard for consultation and thorough studies and deliberation,” Hagedorn said
“There was no proper debate on this project in the PCSD. The so-called consultations in the communities were rigged. There wasn’t even a proper proposal submitted by DPC technical studies,” he added.
Along with a call for a concerted civil society and national government action, Hagedorn also appealed to the DENR not to issue an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project.
“Ang tipikal na coal-fired power plant, gaya ng binabalak ng DPC, ay magpapakawala ng 3.5-milyong tonelada ng carbon dioxide sa Palawan kada taon “(A typical coal-fired plant, like the one planned by DPC will release 3.5-million tons of carbon dioxide in Palawan every year),” said Hagedorn.
“Hindi sapat ang kagubatan ng Palawan para sipsipin ito “(The forest cover the Palawan is not enough to absorb it).”
Hagedorn points out that, even if the DPC coal-fired power plant is located 112 kilometers away from Puerto Princesa, its sulfur dioxide emissions can trigger acid rain and destroy agricultural land, crops, and river systems of the city.