Photo from the Official Gazette of the Philippines

Malacañang has not indicated a categorical position on the controversial coal plant project in Narra.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that while the project needs to go through rigorous requirements, including social acceptability, the province needs to anticipate its future power demands.

“Kung pasado naman sa lahat ng environmental standards there is a possibility na maapprove ang coal,” Nograles said.

He added however that the project should also be socially acceptable.

“It has to pass the process, consultation, acceptability ng taong bayan,” he added.

He said that while the government is in favor of tapping into renewable energy sources, traditional power generation technologies including coal is still needed.

“We push for renewable energy kasi ‘yon naman ang direksyon natin na gusto natin tahakin. But kailangan din natin tignan kung may available source of energy na mayron tayo, if it is enough. Kasi minsan ang renewable energy ay hindi consistent,” he said.

The proposed 15-MW coal plant facility is being eyed by DMCI Powers in Narra, following its issuance of an environmental compliance certificate by the environment department.

Opposition to the project, however, has intensified led by Narra residents and environmental groups.

“Ultimately, ang gusto natin ay better services. But of course, kaya may protocol at process para masigurado na it is environmentally-sound, all stakeholders are consulted and ultimately it’s for the benefit and sustainability of Palawan,” Nograles said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.