Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo called on local government officials of Baguio City and the Cordilleras to use renewable energy as an alternative to coal.
Degamo emphasized the importance of this shift in resources during his speech in the State of the Nature Assessment or Green Sona in the city.
Degamo pointed out the negative effects of coal-fired power plants on the environment especially for a region rich in natural resources such as theirs.
“If we continue to use coal, it has a tremendous effect on the amount of carbon dioxide that it emits in the air. I have seen how coal fire powered plants damage the environment and as much as possible, I encourage all local government officials to exercise their political will to make programs that will go directly into the preservation of our natural resources especially here in Baguio City,” Degamo told Sunstar.
Degamo had earlier issued an order declaring Negros Oriental and its local government units as environment-friendly and clean-energy province.
As stated in the order, the province will “adopt a policy that all offices and local government instrumentalities in the province of Negros Oriental shall not issue any permit, authorization, endorsement or any expression of support to the development of coal-fired power plants in the province.”
“If you are using coal fire powered plants right now then as much as possible, let us change it to renewable energy. There are a lot of renewable types of power plants like wind power generation, hydro power plant, solar power plants that can be accommodated to supply the power requirements of Central Luzon and I hope this can be seen by our top national officials because it is a must for us to preserve our environment,” the governor stated.
The province is using clean and renewable energy in its 19 municipalities and six cities.
Aside from Negros Oriental, Guimaras, Sorsogon, and Ilocos Norte are also pioneers in the movement for a clean-energy Philippines.
“The population is growing in numbers and we know that the capacity of the earth is in critical situation. A serious interest to preserve the environment is a must, I think it is a matter of how we can deliver to the people the importance of using renewable forms of energy like what is now being done in Negros Oriental,” Degamo added.
The province aims to be consistent with its stand, and will strive to develop and use clean and renewable energy to boost economic growth. In addition, they said that they will refrain from doing activities that will have destructive effects on the environment and the residents’ health and livelihood.
The order is in line with the Instrument of Accession to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which was signed by the President.