Consumers rally to stop Meralco-owned firms from forcing more coal in Ph

September 19, 2019

Consumers and environment advocates are demanding a stop to the reported bid by Meralco-owned companies to force more dirty, costly coal into the country’s energy supply.

“Consumers want clean, affordable, renewable energy, not the kind of energy being forced by Meralco and its sister generation companies (GenCos) into our bills,” said Power for People (P4P) Coalition Convenor Gerry Arances. “We urge Meralco Chairman Manny Pangilinan and the rest of Meralco’s Board of Directors to get with the program and realize that time is running out for coal.”

“From the steadily declining cost of renewable energy to the pronouncement of the President urging the reduction of coal reliance, the space to get new coal plants online is getting smaller and smaller,” Arances said.

The Coalition slammed Atimonan One Energy (A1E), an energy company wholly owned by Meralco, which recently emerged as the sole bidder for 20-year power supply contract for 1,200MW greenfield capacity or supply coming from new powerplants.

“A1E has repeatedly tried and failed to get the 1,200 MW Atimonan power station up and running despite strong opposition from the public. Every step of the way, the proponents have tried to deceive and cut corners just so the plant could secure funding and permits,” said Ian Rivera of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, citing the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment, which did not recognize the pollution it would cause and specify on its mitigation mechanisms, the pending case against it and other coal projects funded by the World Bank - IFC, and its questionable acquisition of the Certificate of Energy Project of National Importance through Executive Order 30.

Rivera noted that the Atimonan power station, located near the Lamon Bay protected area, threatens its surrounding ecosystem and the livelihood which depend on it.