Save Palawan from DMCI Coal Plant

Save Palawan from DMCI Coal Plant

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Why this petition matters

Started by Coal Is Not Cool

Palawan, a biodiversity haven that’s one of the last strongholds of the country’s most critically endangered species, has been fighting a different battle for almost nine years. This is not a battle of guns and swords but a battle that endangers the lives and the rights of the people to a clean, safe and sustainable Palawan. 

In July 2012, DMCI Power Corporation signed an agreement of 25-MW power supply with the Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco). Part of its agreement is to build a 15-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in the province of Palawan. The power plant was originally planned to be built in Barangay Panacan, Narra, but residents and environmentalists banded together to protect the critically endangered Philippine cockatoo inhabiting the area, and to stop further damage in the environment from greenhouse gas emissions, generation of tons of waste and air pollution. In addition, they also presented the health and livelihood effects of the construction for the people living in the community such as asthma and lung cancer; and the lost of marine biodiversity due to the acquired pollution from the power plant. Lastly, the fear of human rights violation is also mentioned since the indigenous communities are being forced to give up their lands and be relocated.

With strong opposition, the proposal was rejected for its first attempt.

The latest update was from September 22, 2020, residents and environmental and energy groups, filed a 51-page petition to Palawan Regional Trial Court in a bid to legally halt the construction of the 15-megawatt (MW) plant specifically to prevent the project’s groundbreaking and prompt a reassessment of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) issued for the project by the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last year. 

The hearings for the said petition are still ongoing. However, the locals of Palawan also continue to conduct public demonstrations and inter-faith rallies participated by various sectors to amplify their call. They have also presented alternative sources that are renewable energy sources like: solar energy, hydropower, and wind energy to completely replace the usage of coal —a non-renewable energy.

Indeed, the battle of achieving a coal-free Palawan is not yet won. But with the strong opposition on the ground of community residents, environmentalists and other civil groups citing its detrimental impacts to the environment, livelihood, health and human rights, we are still seeing rainbows at the end of the tunnel. The people’s plea is just to achieve a clean, safe and sustainable Palawan so the next generation can still live in the Philippines' Last Ecological Frontier, home of the world-renowned Underground River, and a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve —and we can only do that as long as no coal-fired power plant is built in Palawan!

113 have signed. Let’s get to 200!