Robredo opposes coal-fired power plants
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Liberal Party’s (LP) vice presidential bet Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo has aligned herself against the provincial administration’s policy, choosing to take an activist stance against a government-backed plan to put up a coal-fired power generation facility in Palawan province.
Visiting the provincial capital on Monday, Robredo said she wanted the next administration to make a strong push away from the country’s heavy reliance on coal energy.
Robredo said she was particularly opposed to the proposed coal-fired power plant in Palawan involving a 15-megawatt facility set to be put up by a private contractor, a project that is openly being supported by the provincial government and other local government units here.
“It is high time that we reconsider our heavy dependence on coal. We understand it is cheaper and easier to do but its impact on the environment and health is really bad. We need the political will to shift to renewable energy,” Robredo said.
The provincial government, including the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, granted all the requisite local endorsements to Consunji firm DMCI Powers Inc., which plans to put up one of two coal facilities in southern Palawan. The project faces stiff opposition from environmentalists and civil society groups here.
LP mayoral bet Edward Hagedorn said he was elated by Robredo’s “anticoal stance” and noted that even the national leadership has “softened” its coal dependence policy with respect to Palawan being an important area for environmental conservation.
“I think the national government is starting to hear what important voices like Attorney Robredo and Tourism Secretary [Ramon] Jimenez are saying, that we should spare Palawan from hosting coal-fired power plants,” Hagedorn told reporters.
Accompanied by Hagedorn, Robredo was welcomed at the airport by city LP officials before proceeding to the national convention of the National Irrigators’ Association where she was guest speaker.
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