The Catholic Church’s social action arm has challenged President Rodrigo Duterte to show sincerity about his administration’s push for renewable energy sources in the country.
The Caritas Philippines believes that Duterte should walk the talk when it comes to energy types the government is backing.
Duterte, during his 5th State of the Nation Address last July, called on government agencies to fast-track the development of renewable energy and reduce the country’s dependence on “dirty, deadly, and costly” energy sources such as coal.
“However, he continues to approve and support new coal-fired power plants,” Bishop Jose Collin Bagaforo of Kidapawan, National Director of Caritas Philippines, said.
“The Philippines is largely dependent on coal – the cheapest fuel option that also contributes the most to greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
The prelate particularly noted the establishment of three more coal-fired power plants in Quezon province by SMC Global Power Holdings and Atimonan One Energy (A1E).
Coal operation, he said, is the country’s “unfortunate contribution” to the non-stop destruction of the environment and health risks to communities.
According to Caritas, there are 27 fully operational coal-fired power plants, which results in having 52 percent share in gross power generation, as of December 2018.
The Caritas also urged the government to honor the international agreements to foster greater care to our common home, “especially in building clearer clean energy pathways, and to declare climate emergency”.
They also called upon all private energy players, especially those in the fossil fuel industry, to start the transition to clean energy solutions.