Latest Stories

Paje urged to expand coal plant in Masinloc

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Environment Secretary Ramon Paje should withdraw the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) issued to a consortium of energy firms that wants to build a coal-fired power plant here and instead support efforts to expand a power plant in Masinloc town to protect Subic Bay, said Zambales Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain II.

“Paje should not sacrifice the environment and tourism potential of Subic Bay by supporting the coal plant project of RP Energy. Instead, he should assist the Zambales government in talks about the expansion of the coal-fired power plant in Masinloc,” Lacbain added.

He said Paje should order the immediate withdrawal of the ECC to the 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant proposed to be built in the Redondo Peninsula here because it benefits only RP Energy and “sacrifices the environment, damages the tourism potential of Subic Bay and puts people here at grave risk.”

Paje, however, said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) only gave way to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) push to have the coal-fired power plant built in Subic.

He said there was no reason to deny the power plant an amended ECC because this was just an expansion of the original ECC given to the project.

The amended ECC was issued to RP Energy by lawyer Juan Miguel Cuna, acting director of the Environmental Management Bureau, on Nov. 15.


But groups opposing the coal-fired power plant here asked for Paje’s resignation since, they said, the DENR’s guidelines for the implementation of the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System do not allow the use of an environmental performance report and management plan as a substitute for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for an environmentally critical project such as a coal-fired power plant.

In a letter to Paje, they said the previous ECC was “very specific” in requiring a new EIA for changes in the original project design.

Lacbain said the DENR should not abdicate its mandate to protect the environment just because the DOE asked it to do so. He said the United States-based AES Corp., one of the largest foreign investors in the country’s power sector, is planning to expand its operations in Masinloc.

“This could address the need for 600 MW [of power] that the DOE says it needs. And unlike with RP Energy, which will not pay a single centavo in taxes to us, Zambales will get at least P300 million from real property taxes. If the DENR helps us, we could also put a more independent and able multipartite monitoring team,” said Lacbain.

AES is a global power company with generation and distribution businesses in 30 countries.

Andrew Horrocks, AES country chair, said his company has been applying for an ECC for the expansion of the plant in Masinloc.

He said the first phase of the project includes the construction of a 300-MW coal plant, which would be completed by 2015. The second phase would see the remaining 300 MW going online by 2018, should there be a demand for more power at that time, he said.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chair Roberto Garcia, in an earlier interview, said RP Energy’s contract with the SBMA was “highly disadvantageous” to the government due to the fact that the firm would pay only P1 million annually to the agency for several hectares of prime property in the Redondo Peninsula. Robert Gonzaga, Inquirer Central Luzon

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: ECC , environmental compliance certificate , Masinloc town , Ramon Lacbain , Ramon Paje

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  2. Name names, Lacson told
  3. Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  4. Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  5. Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  6. Ex-COA chief nabbed for plunder
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  9. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  10. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano


  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace