NegOcc board member says coal plant will push through

By: Dolly Yasa

Bacolod City – Board Member Romel Debulgado of the first district of Negros Occidental said on Wednesday that the proposed coal-fired power plant in San Carlos City will push through despite opposition of environment groups and outgoing Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr.

Debulgado, committee on environment chairman in the provincial board, said the company behind the proposed power plant is still processing its documents.

“I think it will be realized,” he added.

As regards opposition to the plant due to its ill effects, Debulgado said they visited existing coal plants in Iloilo City and they did not notice any environmental problems in the surrounding areas.

He said that the coal plant even pumped the local economy.

“The visit to Iloilo City will be added to the committee report.”

According to officials from the Department of Energy (DOE), Negros Occidental is the only area in Visayas region that has no reliable inland power source within the next five years.

Engr. Rey Maleza, DOE-Visayas energy management division chief, explained that both Cebu and Iloilo are expected to open coal-fired power plants within the year, with two located in Cebu and another in Iloilo.

“This additional 480 megawatts to be generated from the three power plants will suffice for the Visayas requirements [over] the next five years,” he explained.