The Diocese of San Carlos in Negros Occidental and the Power for People Coalition, composed of more than 60 peoples’ organizations, civil society groups, and faith-based organizations, called on the Department of Energy to use its declared coal moratorium, to put an end to the suffering caused by coal in the Philippines.
Gerry Arances, Power for People Coalition convenor, in a six-page letter request filed at DOE, said it is time to implement a total coal moratorium, citing the onslaught of severely devastating typhoons that had hit Luzon areas in the past few weeks.
“While we are facing the consequences of years of climate inaction and unaccountability, it is not too late to prevent a turn for the worse,” Arances said in their letter to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella.
With the announcement of Cusi on Oct. 27 for a moratorium on the endorsements for greenfield coal power plants, after years of their campaign to end the proliferation of fossil fuel, Arances said, “We now stand before a new phase in the transformation of the Philippine power sector”.
DOE HELP SOUGHT
This prompted them also to request the DOE for an updated list of generation companies that have been endorsed, as Oct. 27 this year, a written moratorium order on endorsements to all pipeline coal projects, and a written order revoking certificates of endorsement already issued to pipeline coal projects, he said.
While they welcome the coal moratorium, the groups said it is also already extremely belated as it emerges against the backdrop of a worsening climate emergency and ongoing health and economic crisis. Thus, they added, a lackluster implementation of a moratorium against coal is not an option.
Despite the fact that some of the pipeline coal projects have already been endorsed, they said that DOE has the power to revoke the endorsements.
“The revocation of these certificates of endorsements will be tantamount to a mere withdrawal of privilege,” they also said.
San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza reported that DOE already issued COEs to 13 generation projects.*GPB