In the past week there has been a ferment of opposition against dirty energy across the Philippine archipelago as communities, organisations and the Catholic church step up their campaigns against coal.  Following news of the Norwegian parliament’s formal endorsement of divesting  its $900 Billion sovereign wealth fund, that will cut funding for the Philippines’ top dirty energy producers including: Semirara Mining Corporation, Aboitiz Power Corporation, DMCI Holdings Incorporated and Manila Electric Company.

Atimonan townsfolk cry: No to coal!

Church leaders led various sectors in an ecumenical prayer walk for nature, to protest the proposed 1,200-MW coal-fired power facility in Atimonan.

Atimonan, Quezon: More than 1,500 protesters, led by Church leaders, staged a procession in Atimonan, Quezon province to dramatize opposition to the proposed 1,200-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in the town that faces the Pacific Ocean, some 173 kilometers south of Manila.

Dubbed as “Lakad-Dasal-Bibliya para sa Kalikasan,”(Walk-Pray-Bible), the procession first went around town before stopping in front of the municipal hall for a short program. The marchers proceeded to the town’s Our Lady of the Angels Parish Church grounds for an overnight vigil and were joined be a delegation of activists from organizations such as Greenpeace Philippines, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice  (PMCJ)  and

1 Million for Renewable Energy

Representatives from the Pand other church, civil society organizations and local communities banded together in the launching of the National Petition for Renewable Energy.

Quezon City, Metro Manila: Representatives from the Catholic Church,  civil society organizations and local communities banded together to launch a National Petition for Renewable Energy,  to gather one million signatures to urge the government to move away from a fossil-fuel driven power industry towards a more sustainable, community-based, democratic renewable energy system.

This effort was led by the Power for People Network which expressed distress over the approval of 59 coal plants and 118 coal mining permits, with 15 more coal plants in the pipeline, which would lead to further coal dependence, as it will comprise 80 to 90% of the overall power mix in the Philippines.

The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA), PMCJ and Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE) were among the organizations present in the launch of the petition.

Dismantling DMCI’s stranglehold on the Philippine Environment

Environmental activists under the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) held a picket protest outside the office of DMCI Holdings denouncing its various environmental crimes and human rights violations in several biodiversity areas in the Philippines.

Makati City, Metro Manila: To commemorate World Environment Day, environmental activists under the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment held a picket protest outside the office of DMCI Holdings denouncing its various environmental crimes and human rights violations in several biodiversity areas in the Philippines.

The protest action was meant to call for an independent investigation to look into the outstanding risks and negative impacts to the people and the environment by DMCI’s various operations.

 Palawan protests railroading of coal project

Palawan: Despite having been cleared by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), environmental and civil society groups are not giving up the fight to stop the construction of a coal-fired power plant in the western Philippine province often described as the country’s last frontier.

In response PACE denounced the project, also scored the PCSD for issuing a strategic environmental plan clearance to the project, describing it as a “brazen disregard of its core mandate to protect Palawan’s environment.” They also called on their fellow Palawenos to continue the battle of the residents of Panacan, Narra and San Juan, Aborlan who resisted this dirty and harmful energy project, and ensure that a coal plant is not built in San Isidro, Narra and anywhere in Palawan.

While the Palawan NGO Network Incorporated, the largest umbrella group of nongovernmental organizations in the province, filed a motion for reconsideration with the PCSD Friday last week asking the body to set aside the clearance it issued to the 15-megawatt power plant of DMCI.

On the legislative front lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc filed House Resolution No. 2164, which called for an investigation of the PCSD’s granting of strategic environmental plan clearance to the coal project.

The Catholic Church calls against coal

Manila: A recent statement from the Catholic Church in the Philippines thru CBCP-NASSA has voiced its “strong opposition” to coal and coal mining, noting how this will only make the country a major contributor to climate change, endangering the ecosystem, as well as the health and lives of people.  The call came out simultaneously with appeals from Bishops Marquez and Arguelles to resist coal projects in their diocese located in Lucena, Quezon and Lipa Batangas.

Going a step beyond advocacy on climate change, CBCP-NASSA thru Caritas Philippines has also been working closely as well with the nine dioceses from Yolanda-hit areas through its recovery and rehabilitation program, by giving shelter, water sanitation, and hygiene facilities, livelihood, and food security, and ecosystem recovery interventions to disaster survivors.

Keeping the momentum

As the eyes of the world turn towards the coming release of Pope Francis’  encyclical on the environment, Laudato sii, the numerous actions that have sprang out like antibodies to protect the Philippines from the surge of destructive coal projects highlight the growing consciousness among Filipinos that are calling for an energy revolution that hopefully would come to fruit soon.

Sign up to call for Energy Transformation in the Philippines

For more climate movement news, follow 350 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram