ILOILO CITY, Philippines
10 October 2008
– The campaigns organization Freedom from Debt Coalition-Iloilo Chapter has lauded the five (5) Governors of Western Visayas for their strong stand against the establishment of the proposed 164-MW coal-fired power plant of Global Business Power Corporation, the owner of Panay Power Corporation.
"We commend the collective stand of our Governors in rejecting the construction of the coal plant. Its effort is for the protection of the greater good – the interest of the thousands of electricity consumers in Iloilo City under Panay Electric Company, said Atty. Romeo Gerochi, chairperson of FDC-Iloilo.
Gerochi added, that "the electricity consumers have suffered enough from PECO and PPC's inefficient delivery of services and exorbitant electricity charges. The entry of the coal plant will further aggravate what is already the most expensive electricity in the country today because of PECO and PPC's onerous power purchase agreement."
"On top of the climate change, environmental, and health factors, all issues here will redound to electricity rates. Knowing the very poor track record of PECO and PPC; the coal plant will never result to cheap electricity. The proponent is again promising cheap electricity, just like what they did in 1997 but its electricity rates have skyrocketed in such a short period, expressed Gerochi.
The FDC-Iloilo is among the numerous organizations that are opposed to the coal-fired power plant being proposed for construction in Brgy. Ingore, La Paz district, in Iloilo City, by the GBPC, a subsidiary of Metrobank group of companies.
In its petition to Mrs. Arroyo, the five Governors have warned of the dire consequences of the coal plant project to the environment and people's health.
"We are disturbed by the issuance of the ECC, as such; the Governors urged the national leadership to revoke the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued by Secretary Lito Atienza of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Among the governors that signed the petition are: Gov. Carlito Marquez of Aklan, Gov. Victor Tanco Sr. of Capiz, Gov. Isidro Zayco of Negros Occidental, Gov. Felipe Hilan Nava of Guimaras. The effort was led by Antique Governor Zalvacion Perez, a staunch renewable energy advocate, and the current chairperson of the Regional Development Council.
On the contrary, only Iloilo Governor Niel Tupas, Sr. did not sign the petition. Tupas Sr. is known for its endorsement of the numerous coal-fired plant applications in his province especially in the towns of Banate, Barotac Viejo, Ajuy, and Concepcion.
"By rejecting the proposed coal plant, the five Governors have out into action what is enshrined in the region's Medium-Term Development Plan and that is to harness abundant indigenous and renewable energy sources in the region," said Ted Aldwin Ong, secretary-general of FDC-Iloilo
"We view event as a relevant development in the movement against climate change and an added boost the recently approved Philippine Renewable Energy Bill or Senate Bill 2046," concluded Ong. -30-Freedom from Debt Coalition - Iloilo Chapter
Apt D., Gerochi Law Office Compound, La Paz District
5000 Iloilo City, Philippines
Telefax: (033) 509-2028 * Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.comContact persons:
Atty. Romeo P. Gerochi, Chairperson, @ +63 919 575 5658
Ted Aldwin Ong, Secretary General, @ +63 915 774 7413