Faith-based and pro-environment groups have called on the government to totally abandon the remaining proposed coal projects in Tagkawayan town in Quezon province.
In a statement issued on November 3, the groups urged authorities to strictly implement the country’s coal moratorium and commit to renewable energy.
Father Warren Puno, convenor of Quezon for Environment, said his organization was informed that the proposed 1,200 MW coal-fired power plant in Tagkawayan is still “ongoing review to determine if it’s exempted from the Department of Energy’s coal moratorium advisory.”
“We question the ‘ongoing review’ status of the project as we are also aware that the Tagkawayan local government unit has not issued an endorsement for the project, hence the project should be covered by the coal moratorium and marked as ‘discontinued’,” said Puno, who heads the Ecology Ministry of the Diocese of Lucena.
The proposed project is one of two remaining coal projects in Quezon province’s pipeline, after other energy firms declared the cancellations of other coal plant projects.
In a letter sent to the town’s chief executive, the groups said they are “grateful that your honorable office remains strong in its position to reject the proposed coal-fired power plant.”
“We stand with you in promoting a renewable energy municipality which embraces only clean, affordable, and renewable energy,” the letter read.
The groups urged local government officials to issue an executive order and enact a local ordinance “that will declare Tagkawayan as a fossil-free and renewable energy municipality.”
Lawyer Avril De Torres of the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development said, “While the people of Quezon have already suffered much from currently operating coal-fired power plants, the recent cancellation of several projects provides hope that a truly clean energy future for the province can come sooner than thought possible before.”
“In the context of worsening climate change, deadly coal pollution, and unreliable electricity from coal, we are hopeful that the municipal government of Tagkawayan can take the lead in making such a future happen,” she added.