Negros bishop opposes building of coal-fired power plant

Negros bishop opposes building of coal-fired power plant

By Roy Lagarde

October 12, 2018

Manila, Philippines

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos

A Catholic bishop has objected to plans for a coal-fired power station in Negros Occidental, denouncing it as harmful to people and the environment.

San Miguel Corporation’s power unit SMC Global Power Holdings wants to build a 300-megawatt coal plant in San Carlos City.

The energy department gave it a clearance for a grid impact study, a requirement before a power firm can proceed with the construction of the project.

The DOE did not disclose other details.

But Bishop Genardo Alminaza of San Carlos urged local government officials to abandon the plans, saying that the country cannot tackle climate change by building new coal plants.

“We call on the city government of San Carlos and the provincial government Negros Occidental to disapprove any proposal or application of SMC Global or any company at all for a coal-fired power plant project,” said Alminaza.

“We encourage Negrosanons and local business industries to continue their real efforts towards a more sustainable and cleaner environment,” he said.

The bishop warned that backing dirty and dangerous energy resources would “stain” the UN’s recognition of the city as one of the world’s most livable cities.

The city, he added, is also considered as the energy hub of the Philippines and Southeast Asia with its biofuel and solar energy, together with the entire Negros.

“Not only will a new coal plant stain these existing global recognitions and honors, it will pollute as well the commons (water, air, land), harm human health and downturn community resilience,” Alminaza said.