Going Green

Occidental Mindoro bans Coal-fired Power Plants

Occidental Mindoro joins the ranks of environmentally-conscious regions in the Philippines.

Their Provincial Board, headed by Vice Governor Peter Alfaro, passed an ordinance last December 5 that bans coal-fired power plants in their province. According to the board, instead of “suffering in the near future”, they were choosing clean air and growth.

“World powered by natural gas would be healthier than a world powered by coal, but healthier still would be a world powered by renewables,” said the ordinance from the Provincial Board.

This ordinance states that the Occidental Mindoro Provincial Government would ban the installation of any coal-power plant in the province. In addition, they will also regulate the use of fossil fuels.

Occidental Mindoro Governor Eduardo B. Gadiano will also be the chairman of a council that will formulate measures encouraging a renewable energy program. Other council members include mayors and businessmen in the province, as well as representatives from the industrial sector. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), as well as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), will have representatives as well.

The Provincial Government, citing the October 2018 issue of The Environmental Magazine, said that coal was the “largest emitter among primary electricity generation sources.”

“Of all energy resources, coal is one of the most injurious to the environment and health. Further, coal by-products cause a lot of pollution, which contributes to global warming and climate change,” said the Provincial Government.

According to the ordinance, the Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008 encourages the utilization of renewable energy sources. This will reduce harmful emissions, that would protect both the environment and the public’s health.

A nation-wide push for Renewable Energy

This move places Occidental Mindoro in the same league as other provinces who have also banned coal-power. These include Guimaras, Masbate, Ilocos Norte, Negros Oriental, Bohol, and Sorsogon.

“The Provincial Government of Occidental Mindoro shall continue to pursue clean and renewable energy projects; promote renewable energy programs in the province for the sustainable protection of wildlife and biodiversity where the island of Mindoro harbors one of the world’s unique assemblage of endemic and threatened species of fauna, and to protect children and other vulnerable subpopulations from exposure to certain environmental pollutants,” said the provincial government.

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