Bayan Muna lawmakers strongly criticized the construction of a 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Davao City as part of the solution to the lingering power shortage in Mindanao.
House Deputy Minority Leader Neri Colmenares and Rep. Carlos Zarate said the power plant, which was inaugurated by President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday, exposed the “hypocrisy” of the Aquino administration.
“President Aquino has fully exposed his hypocrisy to reduce carbon emissions to put a stopper on climate change. A few weeks after he has stood up, forehead up high, in front of world leaders [in COP 21 Paris Conference]demanding climate justice, he is now cutting the ribbon to a top contributor to global warming—coal-fired power plants,” Colmenares, who is running for senator in May polls, pointed out.
The lawmaker noted that there should be a moratorium on the use of coal that accounts for a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and considered one of the largest contributors to climate change and global warming.
“Coal, besides being the dirtiest energy resource, causes irreparable damage to health and environment,” Colmenares added.
Bayan Muna has filed House Resolution No. 692 calling for a moratorium on coal fired power plant construction and expansion but it remains pending in the House Committee on Energy headed by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali.
Zarate said the President showed his criminal negligence by unabashedly supporting coal-fired power plants, mining, and monocrop plantations.
“As the primary endorser and defender of environmentally degrading projects, President Aquino is an even worse calamity to the Filipino people,” Zarate added.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has warned of a power supply shortage in Mindanao this week after lawless elements bombed 15 power towers during the holidays.
Likewise, the NGCP has sounded an alarm of a possible grid collapse.
At least 20 electric cooperatives and distribution utilities in Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Butuan, Kidapawan, Cotabato and Tagum will be sourcing their power supply from the Aboitiz-owned coal-powered plant.