Narra acting Mayor Crispin Lumba Jr. has sought to dispel speculations he will approve the local permits of the company planning to construct a controversial coal-fired power facility in Barangay Bato-Bato during his 2-month stint as acting mayor.

“Ni sa guni-guni hindi namin napag-usapan ‘yong sinasabi nila na aaprubahan ngayong 60 days” Lumba said in an exclusive interview with Palawan News.

Lumba was reacting to social media commentary that as he had voted in favor of allowing the coal plant facility to be constructed in Narra, he might try to undo what suspended Mayor Gerandy Danao has done which was to hold off granting local permits to the power firm DMCI Powers Inc.

“Hindi ba klaro naman sa posisyon natin na isa tayo sa nag-endorse ng coal plant, sa atin lang naman iba ýong endorsement, iba yong approval,” he said.

He said he is not even sure if he is allowed by law to grant the power permit.

“And with this temporary vacancy na 60 days lang, I doubt then that it is within my power to enter long term plan again 60 days lang ito, kumbaga acting pa lang tayo. Itatanong pa nga natin sa legal if we are allowed, as acting mayor to sign such, kasi long term na ‘yan, 25 years,” he said.

Lumba said DMCI is still complying with the provisions of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and is not yet constructing.

“Alam naman natin na ýong approval ng DENR is ECC — ang dami tatlo o apat ba ‘yon na provisions. May mga provisions na kumbaga dadaanan pa ng DMCI. Siguro sa ngayon hindi pa nila maco-comply ‘yon, hindi rin natin alam kung ano ‘yong status kasi wala pa namang natanggap na application ang ating Office of the Mayor na kumbaga magsimula na silang mag-construct, humingi na sila ng permit para sa construction ng kanilang planta baka hindi pa nila matapos ‘yong pag comply ng mga provisions,” Lumba said.

He also said that no application has been sent to the mayor’s office.

DMCI plants to put up the coal-fired power plant in Barangay Bato-Bato, Narra. It has been granted an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) by the DENR and a SEP clearance by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) but will need local permits to be able to start construction.