No plans to repeal ‘coal-free’ EO – Lacson

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Governor-elect Eugenio Jose Lacson said on June 26, 2019 that he has no plans to repeal the executive order (EO) declaring the province as coal-free.

The EO in question was signed by outgoing Governor Alfredo Marañon in response to plans to establish a coal-fired power plant in the province.

In a press conference, Lacson said he has consulted his lawyers and he was advised that there is no need to repeal the executive order.

“The executive order will remain in force,” Lacson said.

Lacson also said he will not re-file the request for an ordinance declaring the province as coal-free “as there is no need for it.”

He said the enactment of the ordinance is still pending in the Negros Occidental provincial board.

“I assume that the incoming members of the provincial board will continue (the deliberations),” he said.

Lacson also clarified that he did not approve the building of a coal-fired power plant in San Carlos City as neither the offices of the governor or vice governor have the authority to issue a building permit to such plants.

He said the responsibility falls on the local government unit of San Carlos City.

Earlier, Negros Occidental Provincial Board Member Romel Debulgado said the proposed San Carlos City coal-fired power plant will push through despite opposition from environmentalist groups.

Debulgado, who chairs the Committee on Environment, said while the company in charge of the power plant is still processing documentation, he believes the project will proceed.