The Antique Provincial Board passed on Friday, February 21, an ordinance prohibiting the construction of new coal-fired power plants in the province.
According to an Inquirer report, the ordinance, authored by Board Member Karmila Rose Dimamay, stipulates the imposition of administrative sanctions on government officials and employees who would “seek, assist, or work for an endorsement” of new coal-fired power plants in the province. Additionally, the board has also set up a monitoring team to ensure that no endorsement would be given to plans to execute such projects.
“As an agricultural province with most of the population being farmers and fisherfolks, Antique can ill afford to bear the destructive effects of coal power on agriculture and fisheries such as thermal pollution, coal ash resuspension, and spillage to water bodies. While the Philippines is not one of the major contributors of carbon emissions, we, nevertheless, have a duty to reduce the impact of our consumption and have an energy mix that is not dependent on coal,” states the Provincial Board resolution in the report.
The ordinance follows the implementation of a similar one pushed forth by the Negros Occidental Provincial Board in March last year.
Deputy House Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda welcomed the passing of the ordinance, saying this would help protect the environment and safeguard the health of Antiqueños.
“With the increasing need to address the climate crisis, we have to wean our economies from over-dependence on coal and other fossil fuels. Proliferation of new coal-fired power plants will only contribute to our own destruction and will only go against our commitment to reduce emissions to ensure livable communities today and for the future. Coal-fired power plants are our nation’s top source of greenhouse gas emissions and the primary cause of global warming. Our goal to reduce carbon emissions will be impossible if we will continue to allow the construction and operation of additional coal-fired power plants. Thus, this crucial action of our local government is a vital step towards climate resilience,” Legarda was quoted as saying.