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More than one million households will be left without electricity by 2017, group says

A rally for Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (photo courtesy of http://climatejustice.ph/)

A rally for Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (photo courtesy of http://climatejustice.ph/)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – More than a million Filipino households will still be left without electricity access by 2017 even with the Philippines’ “ongoing aggressive expansion” of energy projects.

A group of more than 100 local and regional coalitions made this prediction on Wednesday, adding that despite an “expansion of energy generation, there has not been any corresponding increase in energy access for marginalized sectors and communities.”

“There are 2.5-million Filipino households who still do not have access to electricity. Under the strategic energy plan of the government, there will still 1.7 million households left without access by 2017,” the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice said in a statement.

“The Philippine government claims that [the ongoing aggressive expansion of coal, oil and gas projects nationwide] is directed towards meeting people and communities’ energy needs,” the movement’s convenor Lidy Nacpil said in the same statement. “Meanwhile the expansion of fossil fuel projects will deepen our dependence on dirty and harmful energy – which already currently comprise 84% of Philippine energy supply. Fossil fuel energy have immediate and long-term impacts on peoples’ health and livelihoods, on sources of food, on their homes and environment, on the entire planet with the exacerbation of climate change.”

The group – a coalition of 103 local and regional organizations – have also asked the government to stop allowing new coal mines and cease putting up new coal projects.

It cited the energy situation in Mindanao where two of the four coal plants being built – one in Saranggani and another in General Santos – “have been found to be intended to supply the power needs of the Tampakan Mining Project and not the electricity needs of more than 600 barangays in Mindanao.”

It is imperative for the government shifts its Philippine Energy Plan to renewable and clean, and universally accessible energy system for people and communities, the group said.

On Wednesday, the PMCJ concluded a three-day National Conference on Peoples’ Energy in which the overall energy situation and the government’s energy program were discussed. (MNS)

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