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Bacolod City, PhilippinesSaturday, November 17, 2012
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Prioritize renewable energy,
Southeast Asia group calls

The Southeast Asia Renewable Energy People’s Assembly is calling on newly-appointed Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla to prioritize renewable energy projects over coal-fired power plants as the country continues to look for more power sources.

“Applying Renewable Energy Projects will adhere to being in harmony with nature, communities and people,” the statement signed by SEAREPA coordinator Gabriel Sundoro Wynn, said.

Wynn signed in behalf of the assembly of more than 130 participants representing 80 organizations in 13 countries, held at the Rainforest Development Centre in Sandakan City in Sabah, Malaysia, recently.

The call to Petilla was suggested to the Assembly by Auke Idzenga of the Negros-based Acquired Indigenous Development Foundation.

The assembly expressed hopes that “…the few hundred planned but pending Renewable Energy projects can be prioritized over the coal-fired power plants, which seem to be moving ahead in favor of renewable energy projects.”.

There are at least nine operational coal-fired power plants and 13 approved proposals for new ones, two of them located in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, according to an infographic on the website of environmental watchdog Greenpeace Philippines.

SEAREPA said there have been no appropriate consultations with community stakeholders at this point according to its Filipino partners.

The Assembly also hoped that the DOE will revitalize its non-conventional renewable energy unit to “equally give attention and strengthen its support” to what have been termed Community Based Renewable Energy Systems (CBRES) implemented by groups like AIDFI, Yamog and SIBAT in the Philippines, placing people at the center of the projects not only in terms of preparation and implementation but also in terms of ownership management and sustainability.*

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