MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers have called for a congressional inquiry into the controversial coal-fired power plant DM Consunji Holdings Inc. intends to build in Narra, Palawan.
In House Resolution 2164, Representatives Carlos Isagani Zarate and Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna, and Luzviminda Ilagan of Gabriela questioned the decision of Palawan Council for Sustainable Development to grant a permit to DMCI to operate a 15-megawatt coal–fired power plant in the town allegedly without considering social acceptability, environmental, health and safety risks to Palawan’s communities and ecosystems.
“The PCSD seems to forget its mandate to protect the province’s environment, towards the establishment of measures for regulating pollutive industries to ensure environmental protection and the well-being of the people,” Zarate said.
“Coal power is considered to be one of the dirtiest source of fossil fuel energy and is identified as a major source of global carbon emission, accounting for 44 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions in 2012,” he added.
Zarate said Palawan has a power reserve of 16.7 MW or 45 percent, more than the capacity of the coal-fired power plant owned by DMCI, “making the establishment of a coal-fired plant in the province unnecessary.”
He also said DMCI’s coal-fired plant might even worsen the power crisis in Palawan due to its incompatibility with the existing infrastructure.
“The price of electricity the coal plant will generate is pegged at PHP9.38 kWh and with value added tax (VAT) of PHP10.51, which is higher than PHP6.59 kWh electricity rate expected to be produced by a hydroelectric project being proposed in the province,” the Bayan Muna lawmaker said.
He also pointed out that Narra opposed the coal-fired plant and when DMCI attempted to relocate its plant the town of Aborlan, the people there also rejected the project.
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