Masbate now coal-free

By Lenie Lectura – May 23, 2018
from Business Mirror

THE provincial board of Masbate has issued a resolution that effectively prohibits the use of coal as a source of energy.

Provincial Resolution 096-18 declared Masbate as coal-free, meaning the local government would no longer issue any permit, authorization or endorsements that support the development and operation of coal-fired power plants.

“There is a necessity to reinforce the conviction of Masbate City to protect its healthful ecology by not tolerating the development and operation of any coal-fired power plant within its area of jurisdiction for the benefit of present and future generations of Masbateños,” the resolution stated.

Masbate now joins Guimaras, Sorsogon, Ilocos Norte and Negros Oriental as pioneers in leading the country toward sustaining a coal-free environment.

In 2008 the office of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Masbate City strongly objected to the establishment of the DMCI Masbate coal-fired power plant in Barangay Pinamarbuhan, Mobo, Masbate, due to its harmful impact to the environment and adverse effects on the health of the residents, the resolution stated.

“The very same particles released to the air from the combustion of coal in power plants contribute to severe pollution in the air, deterioration of the atmosphere, destruction of crops and forest covers, and toxic contamination of groundwater and marine environment,” the resolution added.

In line with the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, the state of Masbate encourages the development and utilization of renewable energy to protect and reduce harmful emissions to the environment. Consequently, the declaration is in accordance to the Philippine Clean Air Act, which acknowledges the adverse impact of coal combustion, not only to the environment but also to the health of the citizens.

In its effort to contribute to the national and global environment, the province of Masbate recognizes its responsibility by committing to a clean and renewable atmosphere.

Also, Executive Order 9 declared Negros Oriental as an environment-friendly and clean-energy province. This means the local government of Negros Oriental will no longer issue any permit, authorization or endorsements that support development and operation of coal-fired power plants.

The province of Negros Oriental has opted to utilize clean and renewable energy in its 19 municipalities and six cities to support economic growth and to deviate from activities harmful for the environment.

As a step forward, the province will cease the use of coal as an energy source due to the posing impacts of its high carbon emissions on health and global climate.

The new provincial executive order aims to support the national government in meeting its commitments in line with the Instrument of Accession to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The agreement identifies the critical impact of climate change and the need to immediately address this issue through carbon emission reduction programs. Negros Oriental already hosts the 222.5-megawatt Southern Negros Geothermal Project of the Lopez-led Energy Development Corp.