Davao City — The NETWORK OPPOSED TO COAL – DAVAO (NO TO COAL – DAVAO) in its launching today at the Assumption College of Davao, attended by various student leaders, teachers, and environmental advocates, unrolled a 10 x 10 feet streamer highlighting their banner campaign slogan – NO TO COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS! YES TO A CLEAN & HEALTHY DAVAO! CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW!
During the program, Sr. Concepcion Gasang, ma, Ed. D, ACD School President, said in her welcome speech, “Today we affirm our strong commitment to pursue the values of ecozoic living and learning. We say no to coal because it is another monster that will destroy our country.
She adds, “Coal is a very damaging mineral when burnt and I dont understand why anyone wuld want to implement such a thing. I urge all of you to say no to coal.”
The school president has firm advocacy that also reflects the school’s strong environmental programs.
Meanwhile, sustainable alternative energy sources to “deadly” coal power are being proposed by the group.
“Community – managed micro hydro, solar and wind energy sources are very viable for the Philippines. But there are no investments in the development of these kinds of energy sources because there is no profit here. If we really want to talk about development, the peoples’ welfare, without putting the environment at stake, then local government units together with the people should move forward to discussing pro-poor and pro-people alternatives, and for the private sector to sacrifice their margins of profit,” said Francis Morales, convener of the NO TO COAL – DAVAO, in a press statement.
Meanwhile, NO TO COAL quoted a Manila- based group of science experts, AGHAM, in its paper entitled Alternative Energy Sources which said: “The Philippines, being situated on the fringes of the Asia-Pacific monsoon belt, exhibits a promising potential for wind energy. The country has a mean average of about 31 watts per square meter (W/m2) of wind power density.”
The paper adds: “A study conducted by the US-NREL in 1999 shows over 10,000 sq. km. of windy land areas estimated to exist with a good-to-excellent wind resource potential. Using conservative assumptions of about 7 MW per sq. km., this windy land could theoretically support over 70,000 MW of potential installed capacity.”
COAL POWER, FOR MINING?
Meanwhile, NO TO COAL cited the Mindanao Business Council ‘s (MBC) published statement that the increased power generation in Mindanao is to supply the increasing demands of mining operations in the island.
MBC chair Vicente Lao said in news reports that around 1000 megawatts would be the additional power supply needed by power intensive industries like mining. He also said that although mining companies have the capacity to put up their own power plants, they are not “very keen” on it.
Morales linked the “over- sensationalization” of the power crisis to the “full blast” operation of mining corporations in the region.
Region XI alone is host to one of the three biggest mining operations in the country, SAGITARIUS MINES which has a Financial Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) to expand from Tampakan mines to Davao del Sur.
On top of this, there are 395 Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) applications covering 17,085,908.69 hectares or 170, 859.087 square kilometers (Mines & Geosciences Bureau) in Southern Mindanao and neighboring regions.
NO TO COAL – DAVAO is gathering studies on the impact of coal – fired power plants on the people’s health and environment for submission to the LGU.
The Network hopes that a citizen’s dialogue will be encouraged by the LGU in order to address the nationwide and even, global opposition to coal. #
DR. JEAN LINDO