Bishop opposes construction of San Miguel-coal plant in San Carlos

PEDC coal plant expansion in Iloilo to operate this September

The Diocese of San Carlos in Negros Occidental is opposing the construction of a 300 MW coal-fired plant by SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. in San Carlos City.

In a position paper signed by Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, they said that “Catholic Church supports the protection of our common good and our common home. We believe that progress can be achieved by sustainable and climate-friendly means.”

“Hence, the Diocese of San Carlos is in opposition (to) the planned 300-MW coal plant of San Miguel Corp. Global. We appeal to them to invest instead their capital in developing sources of renewable energy,” he was quoted as saying in a Philippine News Agency report.

According to the latest data from the Department of Energy, SMC Global Power is included in the list of companies with clearance issued for the conduct of a grid impact study (GIS) as of August 2018.

Alminaza has highlighted that San Carlos City has been recognized by the United Nations as one of the most livable cities in the world. It is also considered as the energy hub of the Philippines and Southeast Asia with its biofuel and solar energy plants.

“Not only will a new coal plant stain these global recognitions and honors, it will pollute as well the commons (water, air and land), harm human health, and downturn community resilience,” he added.

The bishop called on the local government of San Carlos and the provincial government to disapprove any proposal or application of any company for a coal-fired power plant project.

“We encourage Negrosanons and local business industries to continue their real efforts towards a more sustainable and cleaner environment. As stewards of the Earth and as individuals with common needs, it is our duty to take care of our home and love our neighbors as we love ourselves,” Alminaza added.

He also said that the Bishop’s Home, Chancery, and Diocesan Seminary is slowly adapting renewable energy sources as an example of their advocacy.