Palawan coal plant meets protests anew

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ABORLAN, Palawan—Protests mounted by residents of Narra town in southern Palawan against a proposed 15-megawatt coal fired power plant has forced a company contracted by the local cooperative to supply additional power to relocate the project to this adjoining town.

The municipal council of Aborlan began deliberations on Monday on the proposal of DMCI Powers Corp. to find the alternative site despite renewed protests by officials of a state university here and the local Catholic Church. Aborlan is 25 kilometers from Narra and 69 km south of Puerto Princesa City.

Dr. Lita Sopsop, dean of Western Philippines University, told local officials that the proposed site in Sitio Marikit, Barangay San Juan, “is close to the fish sanctuary declared by the local government on Malunao Island, which hosts the coral reefs of Aborlan.”

Sopsop made a presentation before the municipal council. She and parish priest Armando Limsa asked the officials to refrain from endorsing the coal plant.

The Consunji-led DMCI has began conducting an information drive in Aborlan to gather support for the project.

“They (DMCI) are still conducting information education, That is the only permit we have granted them,” Vice Mayor Ariston Madeja told the Inquirer. He said the municipal council had yet to receive a formal request for endorsement of the coal plant.

DMCI has decided to forego initial plans to set up the plant in Barangay Panacan in Narra after failing to secure the endorsement of the municipality, despite having received a provisional endorsement from the provincial level clearinghouse, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development and the provincial board.

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