Environmental advocates from different non-government sectors in the province converged outside the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) in Barangay San Manuel on Tuesday for a silent protest against the coal-fired power plant.
Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda, the executive director of the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) said similar protests were conducted simultaneously in different locations in the province, namely at the Western Philippines University (WPU) Puerto Princesa and Aborlan campuses, Narra Park in the municipality of Narra, and in front of PALECO in Barangay San Manuel.
Anda said this solidarity action is in line with the Global Climate Strike that started the first week of September.
“Para ipakita na lumalawak na rin ‘yong kamulatan ukol sa coal, at ‘yong kamulatan na ‘yon kailangang madala sa isang hakbang. Sana ‘yong signature campaign natin sana lumawak pa at masuportahan pa,” Anda said.
Anda said a “no to coal in Narra movement” is already ongoing.
She said this activity will make the public curious about the message they want to send.
“Ang tingin ko curious sila, bakit kaya may ganito. Kasi an gating objective naman is a message, merong mensahe [na nais tayong iparating] kaya nga meron tayong ganito na “no to coal” tapos mag-iisip na sila kung ano ba itong coal na ‘Ah ganito pala kaya tinututulan.” Mai-intriga ‘yan at magtatanong [kung] bakit kaya tinututulan ito,” said Anda.
One Palawan lead campaigner, Cynthia Sumagaysay-del Rosario, also said in an interview with the media she believes these simultaneous protests will reach the knowledge of the government leaders.
She said through these the government will know the public wants clean energy.
Del Rosario also called on to Mayor Gerandy Danao to stand his ground against the coal-fired power plant in his town.
“Kung si Mayor Danao noon ay kasama sa nag-rally against coal noong nasa Panacan issue pa, noong sa pinakauna pa, ang pamilya niya ay tutol din dito, siguro panahon na para manindigan siya kasi ang mismong taga-Narra ay ayaw ng coal, hanggang ngayon ay naninindigan sila,” said del Rosario.
“Talagang dapat na manindigan si Mayor Danao lalo pa kung iyon ang hinihiling ng taumbayan, ng taga-Narra, kailang making siya sa tao,” she added.
The proposed 15-megawatt coal-fired power plant was recently issued its environmental compliance certificate (ECC) by the DENR, amidst protests against the project.