A Catholic bishop in the central Philippines called on authorities to investigate the alleged resumption of operations of a coal-fired power plant in Cebu province despite the damage of its storage facility due to the recent super typhoon.
Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos urged the local government of Toledo City in the province of Cebu “to exercise its mandate to secure the safety of its residents” and conduct an immediate investigation.
“This calls for public outcry and collective action,” said the bishop, calling the incident “another example of putting profit first before the planet and people.”
On January 9, the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice reported that the coal-fired power plant run by Therma Visayas Inc “is now in full operation” despite the reported damage of its dome stockpile following the onslaught of super typhoon Odette (international name: Rai).
“As a result, it is not properly functioning and is discharging fumes and ash in the city, causing dizziness and foul odor to Toledo’s residents,” read the movement’s statement released to the media.
Grace Honodinez Cononigo, a 54-year-old resident of Bato village, told LiCAS.news that a portion of the roof of the plant’s storage facility is “missing due to the typhoon.” She said the “conveyor” of the facility “has no cover because the typhoon destroyed it.”
“It releases more fumes and dust to the air that directly affect us here,” she said.
Therma Visayas Inc is a subsidiary of AboitizPower and operates a 340 MW coal power plant in Bato village in Toledo City. It is one of two coal plants in the country that houses a “Coal Dome Facility.”
According to its website, the coal storage facility “secures fuel deposits while mitigating the spread of coal dust into the air.”
Cononigo said TVI placed temporary coverings to the damaged facility after the residents complained about the “foul odor and the suffocating dust.”