Degamo bans coal-fired power plants
Raffy T. Cabristante (The Freeman) - April 20, 2018 - 12:00am

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines — Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo issued an executive order, dated March 28 and released to the media only this week, prohibiting the establishment of coal-fired power plants in the province.

The Degamo order, while declaring Negros Oriental as an "environment-friendly and clean energy province," bans offices and local government units in the province to issue any permit, authorization, endorsement, or any expression to support the development of coal-fired power plants.

His order, the governor said, was in in line with the Philippine government's framework, under a resolution by the Climate Change Commission (CCC), aiming for low carbon development, climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk reduction, and renewable energy development.

The CCC has declared coal-fired power plants as the biggest source of man-made carbon dioxide emissions, which account for about 35 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that harm our environment, and cause serious illnesses such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases to the residents, Degamo stated in his order.

The governor said Negros Oriental has been blessed with abundant natural resources that eventually became tourist attractions, thus he is determined to develop and use clean and renewable energy only.

Protecting Negros Oriental's natural resources is an important step to attain sustainable development, which provides locals — especially those in the grassroots level — with long-term means of livelihood, he said, adding that the province is one of only a few in the country where economy flourishes together with its natural resources.

Among the province’s top tourist attractions are the Manjuyod Sand Bar, the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes, the Lake Balanan, and Apo Island that has been deemed one of the most beautiful diving spots in the world.

The governor also quoted several national laws that served as an inspiration for him to issue the executive order: the Electrical Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (RA 9136) promoting the use of renewable energy; and Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 (RA 8749) mandating LGUs to address environmental problems.

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