Senator Risa Hontiveros has called out the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for issuing the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for the construction of the coal-fired power plant in Narra town.
Hontiveros, in Senate Resolution No. 262 dated December 10, wants to hold a Senate inquiry on the alleged irregularities in the issuance of the ECC for the project.
“More than 10,000 residents of Narra signed the petition opposing the construction. Concerns were also raised about its negative effects on Palawan’s unique biodiversity, and health of the residents,” Hontiveros said.
Joel Pelayo, one of the conveners of No To Coal Movement in Narra, recently flew to the country’s capital to lobby for the movement.
“Hinihintay na lang natin ‘yong magiging action ng Senate. Naka-recess na sila so most likely next year na ulit ito mapag-uusapan,” he said.
Hontiveros explained that the controversial project raised eyebrows because of the alleged plan on using low-quality coal from Semirara Island.
“Coal is widely accepted to be the biggest polluter among energy sources. It is the primary cause of global warming, smog, acid rain, toxic air pollutants which is taking a major toll on public health,” Hontiveros said.
Provincial information officer Winston Arzaga slammed Hontiveros saying that the Senator has misguided “presumptions” pointing out that the clean technology process filters out the negative effects contested by the opposition.
“She is presuming na galing Semirara yung coal. Wala naman talagang malinis na coal, kaya nga we are ensuring na [DMCI will] use advance technology,” Arzaga said.
DMCI Power Corporation asserted the public through its information education campaigns (IEC) the use of “clean coal technology” in the operation of the project in the municipality of Narra.