Negros Oriental has joined the growing list of Philippine provinces that have committed to be coal-free for the protection of residents and the environment.
The provincial board has issued Executive Order 9, declaring the province of Negros Oriental as an environment-friendly and clean energy province.
Under the policy, the local government of Negros Oriental will not issue any permit, authorization, or endorsements that support development and operation of coal-fired power plants.
Negros Oriental will stop the use of coal as an energy source due to the impact of its high carbon emissions on health and global climate.
The local government will also promote the use of clean and renewable energy in its 19 municipalities and six cities to support economic growth and to deviate from activities harmful for the environment.
It already hosts the 222.5-megawatt Southern Negros Geothermal Project of the Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC).
The new provincial executive order is in support of the national government’s commitment in line with the Instrument of Accession to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change signed by President Duterte.
The agreement identifies the critical impact of climate change and the need to immediately address this issue through carbon emission reduction programs.
With the decision to make its province coal-free, Negros Oriental will strive for a more sustainable future to address the country’s looming environmental problems, preserve its own local natural resources, and nurture a healthy well-being for its citizens.
The preservation of Negros Oriental’s environment also supports the promotion of the country’s eco-tourism.
Negros Oriental now joins Guimaras, Sorsogon, and Ilocos Norte as pioneers in the movement for a clean-energy Philippines.
By: Danesa Rivera