The decision of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) to endorse the coal-fired power plant project to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources with finality is long expected. The project proponent DMCI Power Corporation succeeded in implementing its game plan in terms of timing.
The project was pushed extensively at the height of the power shortage. DMCI got a very strong ally in the person of Governor Jose Chavez Alvarez who wants economic growth for Palawan of which sufficient power is a requirement.
The proponent allegedly have complied the two hanging requirements of the PCSD – social acceptability and change of location which are good reasons for PCSD to “re-affirm” the previous council endorsement.
But all the Palaweños know that the gem of DMCI is Alvarez who passionately and consistently believe that coal fired power plant is good for Palawan.
The civil society groups who furiously expressed dismay to Alvarez, DMCI and people backing the project through the social media may need to go back to the drawing board and assess what went wrong. We don’t want to believe that their “best” wasn’t good enough to topple the ones in power. If all of them unite and bring the issue to the proper venue there is still a chance for a last-ditch effort.
Social media is a platform to ventilate our feelings in the hope of influencing more people on our side but it is not enough to change the decision that has been made years ago.
The groups are fighting individually. Just like a basketball game where each player plays a specific role that will help the team win over their opponent, the fight against the coal fired power plant. Each group should work on their strengths and play united as a team.
As the much abused cliché goes, “united we stand, divided we fall.”
Don’t lose hope, the fight may not be over… Just yet.