Last update:
2018-03-02

Coal-Fired Power Plant in Luna, La Union, Luzon, Philippines

NGOS involved in environmental protection and climate change, including religious organizations, formed a coalition to block the 670 MW CFPP in Barangay Carisquis, Luna, La Union.


Description:

In December 2016 it was reported (1) that various NGOS involved in environmental protection and climate change, including religious organizations,  formed a coalition in a bid to block the proposed coal-fired power plant in Barangay Carisquis, Luna, La Union. The Koalisyon Isalbar ti Pintas ti La Union (Coalition to Save the Beauty of La Union) is composed of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), HELPS for Humanity (H4H), Kanlungan Center Foundation, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, the Catholic Church, and several concerned sectors. Luna is known for its natural geophysical and cultural assets of high touristic value.  It has a unique pebble-rich shoreline with a centuries-old Spanish watchtower (“baluarte”). It has white beach/cove and coral areas rich in marine life – the main source of livelihood of thousands of fisherfolks. Its Mt Kangisitan, which abounds with rare flora and fauna, is the only remaining rainforest in La Union. It has irrigated fertile lands that thousands of farmers depend on for food and livelihood. It has museums and an art gallery, as well as hotels and resorts frequented by tourists.(4).

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Coal-Fired Power Plant in Luna, La Union, Luzon, Philippines
Country:Philippines
State or province:Luzon
Location of conflict:Luna, La Union
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity
Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

670 MW coal fired power plant , belonging to Global Luzon Energy Development Corporation, scheduled to be operative in 2020. There were delays in 2017 in securing regulatory approval for the power-supply agreements (PSAs) inked by the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) with various power producers including GLEDC for the project in Luna, La Union. The suicide of ERC Director Francisco Villa would affect the power projects’ delivery time and cost. PSAs were pending before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). In October 2017 the companies yet to be approved were Central Luzon Premiere Power Corp. in Pagbilao, Quezon, Global Luzon Energy Development Corp. in Brgy. Luna, La Union, and Mariveles Power Generation Corp. in Mariveles, Bataan. ERC Commissioner Josefina Asirit said the three “have not even been scheduled for a hearing yet because of the lack Environmental Compliance Certificate.” It was alleged that “The power (purchasing) agreement between the owners of these plants and MERALCO are ‘midnight deals’ as no bidding occurred". (3) The Office of the Ombudsman ordered a one-year suspension of four ERC commissioners in December 2017 for allegedly exempting Manila Electric Co. from the competitive selection process in power supply agreements.

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Level of Investment:860,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:2016
Company names or state enterprises:Global Luzon Energy Development Corporation (GLEDC) from Philippines
Meralco from Philippines
Relevant government actors:DENR, Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Koalisyon Isalbar ti Pintas ti La Union (Coalition to Save the Beauty of La Union).
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).
HELPS for Humanity (H4H).
Kanlungan Center Foundation.
United Church of Christ in the Philippines.
Catholic Church.
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Groundwater pollution or depletion, Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactsTourism would be affected
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Strengthening of participation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:It is still undecided by early 2018 amid allegations of corruption and because of opposition by a coalition of NGOs
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Announcement of public hearing for EIA, description of project. December 2017
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

(4) Change.org Petition.

https://www.change.org/p/president-rodrigo-duterte-save-the-surfing-capital-of-the-north-from-destruction-save-la-union-province-no-to-coal-fired-power-plant
" target="_blank">[click to view]

(5) Power Philippines
[click to view]

(2) Manila Bulletin, Luna to host P80-B coal-fired power plant. December 9, 2017 by Erwin G. Beleo
[click to view]

(1) La Union folks oppose coal-fired power plant. December 10, 2016, By Philippine News Agency (Manila Bulletin)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

(3) Consumers, scientists and activists held a protest at Meralco’s generation office at the Rockwell Business Center in Pasig on October 3, 2017 to demand Meralco to abandon the seven “dirty, midnight deals” on power supply agreements (PSAs) between the company and its affiliated power generation companies.
[click to view]

Other comments:The EJAtlas uncovers a pattern of opposition to coal-fired power plants in the Philippines where a constellation of complaints comes together: the defense of the local territory against risks from pollution combined with awareness of global climate change. This happens often with support from the Catholic Church (2016-18).
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Last update02/03/2018
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