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Residents want Quezon coal projects cancelled

COMMUNITY members and clean energy advocates in Quezon staged a fluvial protest on Friday as a symbolic action against the operation and expansion of coal-fired power plants in the province.

The effort was made as part of the National Day of Action Against Coal being led by broad energy and climate advocacy networks Power for People Coalition (P4P) and Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), in which communities and grassroots organizations joined together to demand a cancellation of coal projects in the pipeline, especially of those that have failed to secure official DOE endorsements as of yet, and eventual decommissioning of existing ones through the coal moratorium declared by the Department of Energy (DOE) at the end of October.

“We have long suffered the presence of coal power plants in the name of progress. But we do not benefit from these plants,” said Fr. Warren Puno, Convenor of Quezon wide environmental group Quezon for Environment (QUEEN) and Director of the Ministry of Ecology of the Diocese of Lucena.

The province, which was recently devastated by Typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses, is currently home to three operating coal-fired power plants with an installed capacity of 2.2 GW. With 3.6 GW more of coal in the pipeline.

“Kaming kabataan ng Atimonan ay lumahok sa National Day of Action dahil kinabukasan namin ang nakataya dito. Kami ang mapeperwisyo kung matutuloy ang mga pagtatayo ng coal plant dito sa Atimonan at iba pang bahagi ng Quezon. Hindi pa ba tayo natuto?” said Bianca Opalda, youth leader from local group KAPAKANAN.

The fluvial action was held in Atimonan.