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Advocates crash SMC Annual Stockholders Meeting

Environmental advocates, community leaders, consumers, and multisectoral groups led by WagGas on Tuesday held their own “Annual Stakeholders Meeting” in front of San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) headquarters in time for the conglomerate’s Annual Stockholders’ Meeting (ASM) to protest the company’s fossil fuel projects and their effects on the environment and consumers.

WagGas led the mock ASM to report how SMC’s investments are driving up the prices of electricity, destroying the environment, and causing health problems in their respective host communities.

“After shepherding the rapid and massive expansion of coal in the past, SMC today leads in welcoming vast new capacities for gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) power, at the cost of hopes for climate action, the healing of nature from fossil fuel pollution, and welfare of peoples. Today, communities and advocates are taking action to convince stockholders to hold SMC’s management responsible for its investment decisions. There are ways to invest which will not cause destruction to everyone else not part of the company. We hope SMC can change, and that its shareholders will lead the way,” said Bishop Gerry Alminaza of the Diocese of San Carlos, one of the convenors of WagGas. San Carlos is host to 300 MW of over 14,000 MW of new LNG planned by SMC in the country.

WagGas is spearheading a campaign against the gas projects of SMC, who is now the largest proponent of gas in Southeast Asia. SMC is also the owner of the Ilijan gas plant, which pulled out of its power supply agreement (PSA) with Meralco when its request for price increases was denied by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

“How is SMC making record profits? By walking out of contracts which bound it to sell electricity at a fixed price. With two emergency contracts it now has in place with Meralco, SMC has a free hand passing on additional costs from volatile fossil fuel energy to consumers. We see time and again in the projects of SMC its disregard for the welfare of Filipinos, choosing fossil fuel projects that damage the environment and drive up electricity prices, all in the name of profit,” said Gerry Arances, co-Convenor of WagGas.

WagGas ASM
“People’s ASM.” Advocates, community representatives, consumers, youth hold their own ‘Annual Stakeholders Meeting’ on the occasion of San Miguel Corporation’s Annual Stockholders’ Meeting, calling out the corporation’s dirty business operations involving gas, coal, infrastructure, mining, and an ongoing oil spill

The Annual Stakeholders Meeting was joined by multisectoral groups including Sanlakas, No to PAREX, Partido Lakas ng Masa, Protect VIP, and others who also called out SMC’s many other detrimental and highly opposed business operation, including its coal mining aggression in Lake Sebu, Mindanao; the Pasig River Expressway; airport development and mangrove destruction in Bulacan; and the destruction it is causing over the Verde Island Passage through a devastating oil spill that remains far from resolved today, and LNG development in the marine corridor’s vicinity.

“Andito kami ngayon para ipaalam sa mga namumuhunan sa SMC na ang kanilang napakalaking tubo ay galing sa napakabigat na pasanin para sa lahat na hindi bahagi ng kumpanyang ito. Tubo nila, talo ng lahat. Bawat pisong nalilikom, galing sa pagkasira ng kalikasan, pagdurusa ng mga nagbabayad ng kuryente, at sakit sa mga pamayanan kung saan andoon ang mga fossil fuel projects ng SMC. Sa commercial lang ang malasakit ng San Miguel, parang walang pinagsamahan,” said Ka Leody de Guzman of Partido Lakas ng Masa.

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