Ilocos Norte board OKs ban on coal power plants
LAOAG CITY—A resolution declaring Ilocos Norte as the country’s first clean, green and coal-free province is awaiting the signature of Gov. Imee Marcos, after the provincial board made a clear stand against projects that could harm the environment.
A resolution passed by the board on Aug. 15 sought to discourage investors from developing coal plants in Ilocos Norte, said board member Mariano Marcos II, who sponsored the measure.
Ilocos Norte hosts wind power farms in the towns of Bangui, Burgos and Pagudpud that generate a combined 283 megawatts (MW) of electricity, and solar projects in the towns of Currimao, Dingras and Burgos that produce 26.7 MW. The province also hosts the 5-MW Agua Grande hydroelectric plant in Pagudpud.
The resolution also prohibited the provincial government and offices from issuing permits, certificates of authorization, endorsements or expressions of support for the development of coal projects.
It also encouraged Ilocos Norte’s 21 towns and Laoag and Batac cities to reject coal projects.
A copy of the resolution was sent to the Office of the President, the Department of Energy, the Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Climate Change Commission.
Marcos III said Ilocos Norte encourages renewable energy programs “not only because the province is endowed with essential natural environment but also because these programs are friendly to the environment and are not harmful to the people’s health and well-being.”
The Batac campus of the state-run Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) has opened a professional science master’s course in renewable energy engineering in support of the province’s advancement in green energy, said Dr. Prima Fe Franco, acting MMSU president. Leilanie Adriano, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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