Greenpeace statement on the proposed PHP300 coal tax:

A long overdue gift to the Filipino people

Press release - December 1, 2017
01 December 2017, Manila Philippines - A proposal to increase the tax imposed on coal from PHP10 per metric ton to PHP 300 per metric ton by 2020 is scheduled to go through a bicameral session today. The proposal, voted on by the Senate of the Philippines on November 27, was coursed through Senate Bill 1592, also known as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), which laid out tax reforms in various sectors and industries, including coal. The PHP10 tax rate [1] has been imposed since 1977, or 40 years ago.

The proposal is spearheaded by Senators Loren Legarda, Joel Villanueva and Ralph Recto, and supported by Senators Francis Escudero, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, and Senators Joseph Victor Ejercito, Grace Poe, Risa Hontiveros, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Greenpeace Climate and Energy campaigner Khevin Yu said:

“For the coal industry, the sound of the passing bell has been heard. The Senate has sent a strong signal that the end of the age of coal is forthcoming for Filipinos. 

“Greenpeace supports this bold move by the Senate to stand by Filipinos who are long suffering from the impacts of coal and which decided that it’s time to stop coddling an industry that has caused so much destruction on our health and our country’s natural resources.

“The coal industry cannot continue amassing wealth at the expense of destroying our environment, our climate and our people. They have been benefiting from an outdated taxation policy that is biased for the promotion of coal and enjoying this unfair advantage against other sources of energy. Such policies contribute to the illusion that coal is the cheapest source of energy. But uncovering the true cost of coal is important because it is the more expensive, destructive and deadly option for energy generation.

“The PHP 300 tax is a measly amount that is not even proportionate to the negative impacts of the coal industry’s business activities, as well as their huge profits. They cannot claim to be discriminated against.

“It is high time we instead increased support toward a diversified renewable energy system based on technologies and resources that are clearly cheaper than coal [2] and highly abundant in our country. 

“Greenpeace and its allies remain vigilant and joins coal-resisting communities lending support to the Senate’s initiative. The Senators, especially those who earlier on supported the renewable energy revolution, must prove their leadership, honesty, and loyalty to their words. We have suffered enough, and big polluters, like the coal industry, must pay. This is long overdue.”  ###


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Notes to the Editors:

[1] Index for Excise Tax. https://www.bir.gov.ph/index.php/tax-information/excise-tax.html

[2] Solar power now cheaper than coal. https://www.doe.gov.ph/energist/index.php/96-categorised/energy/energy-resources/renewable-energy/solar-energy/11997-solar-power-now-cheaper-than-coal

 

Media Contacts:

Khevin Yu, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia - Philippines
| (+63) 917 521 2256

Angelica Carballo Pago, Media Campaiger, Greenpeace Southeast Asia - Philippines
| (+63) 949 889 1332

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