Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles criticized President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino II for allegedly not fulfilling his promise to help fight the cause of global warming problem. The archbishop said that PNoy has already promised that he will not anymore allow the construction of coal-fried thermal power plants in the country. But on the contrary, he even attended the opening ceremony of a similar power plant.
“Salamat at yung Presidente nagpunta sa Paris pumirma sya na kasali ang Philippines sa pagsupress ng further deterioration of the environment. Pero pagdating nya dito, nag attend sya ng opening ng Coal Fired Power Plant sa Davao.” Archbishop Arguelles told Radyo Veritas in a recent interview, noting that the president is obviously supporting such plants instead of imposing a ban just like he promised.
“Then marami syang pinirmahan na mga mining developments, at saka research at saka yung mga Coal Fired Power Plant , that is a contradiction.” Arguelles added, who is also the chairman of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (CBCP-PCPA). He emphasized that giving a go-signal to the plant will surely have a negative effect on the environment.
According to Archbishop Arguelles, President Noynoy Aquino made a promise last year that his administration will reduce 70 percent of the carbon emission in the country from 2015 to 2030. He said PNoy made his statement during Conference of Parties (COP21) in France, as part of his government’s commitment on the agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
And because of this, Archbishop Arguelles reminded the public and the local government to be firm in their stand against huge companies that might insist in establishing coal-fried thermal power plants in other provinces. He also urged local officials not to be blinded by money, because it is the greed that will continue destroy the community and the environment as well because of the dirty source of energy.
As noted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a burning coal is known for releasing carbon dioxide, which is considered as the major cause of global warming. It also emits nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide, which are both main cause of acid rain that has proven to damage forests, lakes and buildings. All the process of coal burning have negative effects in the environment as compared to other sources of energy.
Based on a case study, a 500-MW coal plant produces 3.5 billion kilowatt-hours per year. This is noted to be enough to provide power to a city with about 140,000 residents. It also uses 2.2 billion gallons of water and 146,000 tons of limestone, as it burns 1,430,000 tons of coal. However, it also releases 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, 10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide, and 3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide.
As of now, there are already 17 coal-fried thermal power plants all over the Philippines. Just last January, President Noynoy Aquinong attended the inagurration of the 300-megawatt Davao Baseload Power Plant in Binugao, Toril District, Davao City. Environmental groups heavily criticized PNoy, but Malacañang defended him and emphasized that the plant will help prevent power outages in the country.