Greenpeace welcomes acting DENR chief's order to review ECC of Negros coal project

Press release - February 8, 2001
International environmental group Greenpeace today welcomed the order of OIC Environment Secretary Joemari Gerochi to review the 'midnight' environmental clearance certificate (ECC) granted the controversial Negros Coal-Fired Power Plant in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental.

International environmental group Greenpeace today welcomed the order of OIC Environment Secretary Joemari Gerochi to review the 'midnight' environmental clearance certificate (ECC) granted the controversial Negros Coal-Fired Power Plant in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental.

"This act speaks of good faith on the part of the current DENR leadership. It is a clear acknowledgement of the clandestine efforts made by former DENR secretary Antonio Cerilles to fast-track permits for environmentally critical projects despite strong community opposition," said Athena Ballesteros, Campaigns Manager for Greenpeace-Southeast Asia (GPSEA)

"But this is no reason to celebrate yet as the ECC should eventually be revoked," Ballesteros added. According to the GPSEA campaigner, "The project does not meet environmental standards and has no chance of securing social acceptability, all of which are required under the EIA process."

Greenpeace announced last week its support of the call to cancel the ECC by local organisations like the People of Pulupandan Against the Coal-fired Power Plant (PPAC) and the Negrosanons Against the Coal-fired Power Plant (NACP). "An international citizens action alert was immediately launched upon hearing of the unfortunate decision targeting the new presidency and the new DENR leadership, said Red Constantino, Philippine energy campaigner for GPSEA.

A flood of messages urging President Arroyo to recall the ECC and to resume the public hearings arrived at the Presidential Palace after the ECC issuance was confirmed. Citizens groups and NGOs all over the world continue to send faxes and emails to the President and the DENR as well as through the office of Presidential Management Staff chief Vicky Garchitorena.

Greenpeace vowed to continue a global campaign to halt funding for obsolete, polluting fossil fuel energy technologies such as coal plants. The group is calling for funding institutions to prioritise cleaner energy sources.

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