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Young environmentalists buck coal power plant ops in Bataan.

At least 30 young men and women, joined by several adults, held on Sunday here a sit-down protest against the operation of coal-fired power plants in the province.

'Ako ay nagbalot ng itim bilang simbolo na ang planta ng coal ay nag-eemit ng maruming usok at napupunta ito sa komunidad na malapit sa planta. Nadadamay ang mga tao na naninirahan sa komunidad (I covered myself in black as a symbol of the polluted smoke being emitted by the coal plant which goes to the community near the plant. It affects the people living in the community)," said Jewong Capatoy, coordinator of Young Bataenos Environmental Advocacy Network (YBEAN).

He recalled that in January 2017, an ash fall incident occurred, wherein the pollutants that allegedly came from the coal plant affected residents of Barangay Lamao here.

YBEAN spokesperson Jess Dizon said they were holding the sit-down strike as part of the observance of the week-long Global Climate Strike from September 20-27.

'Parte ito ng activity ng Young Bataenos Environmental Advocacy Network kung saan ang mga kabataan ay naninindigan sa isang malinis na source ng kuryente (This is part of the activity of Young Bataenos Environmental Advocacy Network where the youth are standing firm for a clean source of electricity),' she said.

She noted that at the back of the area where they were holding the protest action was a coal-fired power plant that has been adversely affecting the health of villagers.

'Hindi kami nandito para manggulo, magsimula ng kahit anong unruly na gawain. Nandito kami para makita ng kapwa namin kabataan na taga-Bataan na may nangyayaring isyu dito na dapat naming aksiyunan (We are not here to create trouble nor start any unruly activity. We are here to show to our fellow youth in Bataan that there is an ongoing issue that we must take action about,' Dizon said.

She said that the young men and women who joined them came from various schools and villages affected by the coal power plant operation.

'Nananawagan kami sa kapwa namin kabataan na more than job opportunities, trabaho o ano mang industrialization na mapo-provide ng kumpanyang ito, ang makita sana natin ang mas malalim na epekto nito sa kalusugan natin at kalusugan ng mga magiging anak natin (We are calling on our fellow youth, that more than job opportunities, works or whatever industrialization that this company can provide, we hope that they could see the deeper effect in our health and health of our future children),' the youth leader said.

'Ina-advocate namin ang renewable energy na meron tayong option, meron tayong choice hindi ang coal lang ang solusyon para magkaroon ng kuryente ang Pilipinas (We are advocating for renewable energy. That we have an option and we have a choice. It is not only coal that can solve the power problem, to have electricity in the Philippines),' Dizon added.

She expressed hope that the provincial government would heed their call to act against the coal power plant operations and instead promote a cleaner source of energy.

Dizon said that if possible, they wanted the coal power plants to be closed.

'Kung mapapahinto mas gusto sana namin. Kung hindi naman, huwag ng magtayo pa o bawasan nila o kung kaya nilang lumipat ng ibang source ng energy. Alam namin na maganda ang purpose nila na makapag-provide ng kuryente pero yong paraan hindi nakakabuti para sa amin (We would prefer for the operations to be stopped. If not, do not build more or reduce or if it can, look for another source of energy. We know that that they have good purpose which is to provide electricity but their way of doing it is not good for us) ,' she said.

Dizon noted that that there are three coal-fired power plants operating in Bataan - two in Limay and one in Mariveles - and there are alleged plans to put more in Barangays Lusong and Biaan, also in Mariveles.

She also said that the electric power consumption of Bataan is only 30-60 mega watts (MGW) but there are 740-MGW and 660-MGW plants in Limay and Mariveles, respectively.

'Maliit lamang ang konsumo ng Bataan ngunit marami tayong coal-fired power plants na gagamitin para sa kunsumo ng ibang lugar pero ang negatibong epekto ay dito sa atin (The power consumption of Bataan is just too small but there are many coal-fired power plants for the consumption of other places. However, the negative effect is here in our place),' she lamented.

Dizon likewise called on authorities to stop the cutting of trees along Roman Highway in the province for the purpose of road widening.
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Publication:Philippines News Agency
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Sep 23, 2019
Words:833
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