Banning of coal – generated power plant in Ilocos Norte gains praises

LAOAG CITY, October 6 (PIA) – A cause- oriented group for environmental protection has lauded the Ilocos Norte officials for banning the establishment of coal-fed power plants in the province.

Sherwin G. De Vera, the regional coordinator of the Ilocos Network for the Environment (Defend Ilocos), said Ilocos Norte’s  banning of coal-fired power plants is a positive move and deserves a commendation from environmental protection advocates.

“We support this bold move considering that President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy declaration on energy favors dirty coal, other local governments ought to follow the lead of Ilocos Norte provincial board, we also call on the provincial board to pass resolutions against other fossil fuels for power generation,” he said.

However, De Vera noted that the province’s pursuit to be the country’s leading renewable energy center must not sacrifice the people’s rights to livelihood, ancestral lands, and safe environment.

“We asked the immediate review of existing Memorandum of Agreements (MOA) with affected communities; the review should ensure that energy ventures lower electricity rates and provide substantial benefits to communities where the facilities are located,” he added.

Meanwhile, Director Mario Marasigan, head of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau of the Department of Energy (DOE), welcomed the move of the provincial officials on banning the entry of coal-generated power plants.

“We have plenty of renewable energy (RE) projects in Ilocos Norte; I believed that the total power generation of these projects is sufficient for the power supply requirement for the province,” Marasigan said. (Freddie G. Lazaro/azq WZEXPIA-1)