I HOPE you will allow me to respond to MBCCI President Mr. Roberto Montelibano’s endorsement of “any power source... as long as it is reliable” for Negros Occidental.
I am extremely happy that MBCCI is not pushing for the proposed coal plant in San Carlos, unlike in the late 90s when it campaigned for the installation of a coal plant in Pulupandan.
The people of Negros, especially the youth, need the support of MBCCI in ensuring that they will have a livable future. The UN recently announced that climate crisis disasters are happening at the rate of one a week, though most draw little international attention. This is because a large number of these climate disasters are “lower impact events” but still they cause deaths, displacement and suffering particularly among the poor. The drivers of these climate disasters, as is already widely known, are the fossil fuels, including coal.
MBCCI will help protect the future of the Negros youth if it joins the worldwide campaign to end coal and source energy from renewable sources; hence, it should say “No” to the proposed coal plant in San Carlos.
As already noted by Mr. Montelibano, there have been proposals for wind farms in Negros. The earlier proposals were in Cauayan, Pulupandan and Don Salvador Benedicto. There are also existing solar farms in Negros that have yet to be fully utilized and other ways of utilizing solar energy have yet to be maximized in Negros. The Negrosanons, particularly the Negros youth, will be thankful to MBCCI if it would help make the province become the true renewable energy hub of the country. A key role for MBCCI to achieve this is to work with the provincial government to draw Renewable Energy (RE) investors into the province.
The case of the 150MW Tarlac Solar Farms proves that RE is no longer a dream. The Tarlac Solar Farms now provides 24/7 solar power to Meralco consumers. This solar farm uses the latest Tesla batteries for storage. And this solar power costs much cheaper than the average electricity rate in Negros Island. The Tarlac solar power is only P2.9999/kWh. In contrast, the average electricity rate in Negros Island is about P10.3812/kWh because of the coal and diesel costs.
-Romana de los Reyes
Bago City, Negros Occidental