Climate justice group calls Duterte a two-faced hypocrite
In his speech, Pres. Duterte lauded the private sector for its active participation in the government’s goal to empower the citizens towards energy accessibility.
However, anti-coal and climate justice groups lambast the president for being blindsided on the issue.
“Dito natin makikita kung sino ang tunay na pinagsisilbihan ng pangulong ito. Matapos ang kabi-kabilang pagpapahayag ng mga komunidad ng kanilang mga pagdurusa nang dahil sa mga planta ng coal ay siya pa mismo ang nanguna sa pagpapasinaya ng isa na namang mapanirang planta dito sa Pagbilao. Tunay na kawalang malasakit ito sa mamamayan,” said Monsignor Noel Villaroel of No to Coal Quezon Movement.
PEC coal plant, the third coal plant built in Pagbilao, is a joint-venture of TPEC Holdings Corp. and Therma Power Inc., which are subsidiaries of TeaM Energy and Aboitiz Power, respectively. Currently, both big companies hold most of the coal plants in the country with Aboitiz owning 2,220-MW, and TeaM Energy with 3,153-MW.
“Iisa lang ang nagiging galaw ng presyo ng ating kuryente, puro pataas. Kung talagang pagiging aksesible ng kuryente ang pangunahing layunin ng Pangulo, dapat nang tigilan niya ang pagdepende sa mga malalaking kumpanya na noonpama’y walang ibang ginawa kung hindi pagkakitaan ang serbisyong ito,” added Monsignor Villaroel.
Groups assert that the President only considered the financial aspects of such projects that in truth will only benefit the proponents and never taken into account the sufferings of the people affected by the socio-environmental impacts of it.
“Leading an inauguration of a coal-plant amidst signing the Paris Agreement is a clear act of two-faced hypocrisy. Promoting technological advancement without factoring in the impacts to the communities and to the environment is not development for the people. A lot of alternatives are already available. The government should start walking the talk and shift to renewables now,” said Ian Rivera, National Coordinator of PMCJ.
“It is also very ironic that here in the Philippines, we are still building additional coal plants while the rest of the world is gearing up for the transition from dirty, deadly, and costly electricity from coal,” added Rivera.
The Paris Agreement, which the Philippine Government is a signatory calls for countries to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change”.
Philippines is expected to cut its greenhouse gas emissions as stated in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). But climate justice group thinks the President’s actions are—aside from being anti-people; defiant of what he has agreed to implement.
“The NDCs is not just a simple deal between nations; it’s a written promise to your people to uphold their right to life and their right to a balance and healthy ecology. Any slight increase of average global temperature, a result of the burning of coal and fossil fuel will be detrimental to vulnerable countries like the Philippines. Strong weather events like Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 and the 9-month drought, last 2016 caused massive deaths and destruction and chipped off not less than 1 percent from our GDP during those years. It is the Philippine government and the people who bore the brunt of this widespread climate change impacts. Cut your dirty track to development now, and engage the people,” Rivera concluded.
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice is a grassroots coalition of over 130 members across the country that aims to empower communities affected by the global climate crisis.
No to Coal Quezon Movement is a local member of PMCJ that mobilizes the communities in Quezon to stop and fight against coal.
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