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Nuns oppose coal-fired plant

Anger at city's 'reckless' decision which clears way for power station

Sr Elvie Solemino speaks to the media Sr Elvie Solemino speaks to the media
  • ucanews.com reporter and Kerima Bulan T Navales, Davao City
  • Philippines
  • November 2, 2011
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Hundreds of nuns have criticized a decision by their city council that paves the way for the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Mindanao.

Sister Elvie Solemino said today that she and around 200 members of the Association of Consecrated Women in Davao archdiocese have signed a petition demanding authorities reconsider their decision to reclassify land where Aboitiz Power Corp plans to build a 150 megawatt coal-fired power plant.

Sister Solemino said the decision was made without a proper environmental impact study and that the association will personally deliver copies to City Hall in a public demonstration of their opposition.

Davao city council last week granted the firm’s application for the land to be reclassified from medium industrial to heavy industrial so it can be used to locate the power plant.

Sister Solemino said the city’s decision "dismayed" the nuns because it allows Aboitiz to "disrespect the sanctity of God's creation."

City officials who voted in favor "disregarded the cries of the people," she said.

The power company says it wants to build the plant in Davao to help augment Mindanao’s power supply.

It says Mindanao’s heavy reliance on hydro-electric power has seriously eroded power supply reliability since it is highly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.

"Generating power with the use of coal will significantly reduce dependence on hydro power," the company explained.

Nonetheless, the nuns and other groups opposed to the plant have branded the city council's decision to approve land reclassification as reckless.

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