Photo courtesy of PIO

The Provincial Information Office (PIO) defended anew the much-criticized coal plant project planned to be put up in Barangay Bato-Bato, Narra town.

Winston Arzaga, provincial information officer, on Wednesday insisted that the project is not “bad for the environment”.

“Sinasabi nila na marumi daw yung coal, pero hindi pa naman nila nababasa yung report ng San Miguel Corporation (SMC) sa Limay, Bataan. San Miguel runs a consistent emission testing na mas mababa pa sa nilalabas na usok ng diesel-fired power plants,” Arzaga said, urging critics at the same time to be “open minded.”

The SMC report asserted that the particular clean coal technology is “the most reliable and cost-efficient fuel source for greenfield power projects.”

“These are good indicators for us kasi yung process nila, yun din naman yung process na gagawin doon sa Narra,” Arzaga said.

Joel Pelayo, one of the conveners of No To Coal Movement in Narra, countered Arzaga’s statement claiming that the project proponents are the ones who “need to listen”.

“Sana sila ang maging open-minded at pakinggan yung side namin. We believe the leaders are supposed to mediate the issue, hindi yung sila pa mismo yung tahasang umo-oppose sa amin,” Pelayo said.

Meanwhile, the DMCI Power Corporation held an information and education campaign (IEC) at Palawan State University (PSU) Narra campus to explain to the students the objectives of the project.

However, Pelayo claims that the IEC campaign was ineffective as it left the students with several unanswered questions due to “lack of time”.

Pelayo is challenging government officials, the DMCI management, and other concerned residents for an open forum to structurally and constructively discuss the issue.

“Ang problema kasi, sa social media nangyayari yung sagutan. Dapat harapan, baka pwede sa Narra gymnasium both anti and pro na mag-usap ng maayos,” Pelayo said.

To date, no formal letters of invitation for a debate were sent by either party.


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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.