Residents of Sual town in the province of Pangasinan held an online protest on July 13 to urge the municipal government to reject a 1,000-megawatt coal-fired power plant planned for their town.
“Since 1996, we have lived with the smoke and pollution of the Sual Power Station, causing much suffering and health problems among the residents,” said Rosanna Soriano, leader of Save Sual Movement.
“Now, it seems like another power plant will be built, trading the health of residents and of the environment in exchange for dubious economic benefits,” she said.
The municipal government has earlier said it is against the existing coal power plant, but people were worried that their leaders might have changed their mind.
“The government of Sual must already drop all ideas and plans of building coal-fired power plants,” said Ian Rivera of the the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice.
Philippine laws require the consent of a local government unit for the construction of any coal-fired power plant. Consent must only be given after consultation with stakeholders.
Avril de Torres of the non-government Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development said any coal power project with a capacity of 30 MW or higher is considered to be environmentally critical.
“With an installed capacity of 1,000 MW, the proposed coal plant is one of the biggest power projects in the national pipeline, which could have significant adverse environmental impacts,” she said.