‘Boholana power’ pushes agenda vs coal power plant

Breaking barriers, women here in Bohol proved they are not just household fixtures—but can also push an agenda that has an impact on the environment.

In fact in their fighting form, a largely-women comprised group here is now spearheading a snowballing movement against what they believed as the entry of a coal fired power plant in Bohol.

Calling themselves Clean Energy Advocates (CEA), the group consolidated several citizens groups, faith based organizations and pro-environment advocates: women, students, mothers, professionals  to firm up a stand vehemently opposing a perceived plan to build a land-based power plant here that is fired by coal.

Standing firm in their belief supported by claimed scientific research proving that burning coal impacts on the people’s health and the environment, CEA and its spokespersons Atty. Alma Aparece and Noelyn Dano PhD visited Kapihan sa PIA to broadcast their stance.

They also explained their objections to coal, which they felt is now slowly being fed supposedly to sway popular public opinion.

“Somehow, we have to do this, maybe not for us, but for the generations after us,” Dr. Noelyn Dano said at the radio forum aired live over a local radio station.

In their signed manifesto which has already gathered a sizable number of Boholano anti-coal supporters, CEA stressed that coal has been pinpointed a major public health hazard.

In fact, each stage of the fossil fuel life cycle brings with it sickness and diseases to humans and wildlife as well as it being a major contributor to climate change, CEA claimed in their signed statement.

The CEA apprehension as mothers keeping children under their wings, did not come unfounded.

The extremely short time needed to get Bohol its needed sustainable power supply to operate Panglao Airport in August and the continuing rise in power demand here has presented the issue tagging along a string of suspicion, advocates admitted at the radio forum.

Seeing the Provincial Government’s creation of the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group as an apparent move to keep the people off the decisions on the kind of energy resource Bohol intends to have, CEA also thinks it was a cheap ploy to pass on the buck to BEDAG so the leaders can shake off the blame and get off political get-back.

Dano and lawyer Aparece as well as support group of women advocates including poeple’s organization leaders have again come out in the open to rally the church into helping them in the fight for cleaner environment and a better Bohol for their sons and daughters.

It may be recalled that after the 2013 province-wide blackouts that blanketed Bohol, local officials heeded the call for more sustainable and reliable land-based power supply to get off from the hostaging situation of disasters snapping Bohol off the power grid supplied by the geothermal plants in Leyte.

During an earlier gathering called by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan March 7, CEA advocates’ beliefs about a possible railroading of the coal for Bohol resurged, despite assurances that Bohol has not come up with a decision yet.

The mention of a cheap energy source and the short span of time needed to put up the power plant during the SP meeting slid the alarm knobs up the notches, women advocates shared.

At the meeting, Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio III however clarified that the Provincial Government’s role us just to facilitate and coordinate, it is not to approve for it is the task of the Department of Energy.

At the same meeting, Bohol distribution utilities Bohol Electric Cooperative I and Bohol Light Company Incorporated admitted that part of the power they supplied in their franchise areas are also power from coal fired plants in Cebu and transmitted to Bohol.

The CEA also have a reason to be alarmed, as even tourism industry stakeholders thought like them.

With Bohol placating as a green tourism destination, coal does not fit in the picture, sums up  Provincial Tourism Council Chairman lawyer Lucas Nunag during the meeting.

Over this, the group hailed a law that mandates the acceleration of the development of renewable energy resources through sustainable development strategies, as they think a gradual reduction of the province’s reliance to dirty energy resource does not fare well with its professed vision for the province. (PIA)

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