NAKIISA ang clean energy advocates sa mga grupong nagsagawa ng kilos protesta sa ilalim ng “SONAgkaisa” banner sa ginanap na State of the Nation Address (SONA) ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa Batasan Complex sa Quezon City, nitong Lunes ng hapon.
Dito ay muling hiniling ng grupo na pinangungunahan ng Power for People Coalition (P4P) at Withdraw from Coal (WFC) network na isama ang ‘power sector’ sa plano para sa ‘national survival’ mula sa COVID-19 crisis sa ikalimang State of the Nation Address (SONA), kabilang ang ‘relief and reform programs’ at ang muling kompirmahin sa marching orders na inisyu ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte.
“We do not have the time for the president to go back and forth with his directives, or for the government to ignore the many blemishes of the power sector that were made obvious by COVID-19. The immediate survival of our people and their quality of life in the long term are at stake. The government must plan and act with this in mind,” ayon kay Gerry Arances, Convenor of P4P.
Ayon sa grupo, sa nakaraang SONA, inatasan ng Pangulong Duterte ang Department of Energy (DOE) na mabilis na subaybayan ang pagpapaunlad ng ‘renewable energy sources’ at bawasan ang pag-asa sa ‘coal’ o karbon, na ipinamahala sa Department of Energy (DOE).
“We welcomed the president’s pledge in 2019 in the hope that it would finally spark change in a power sector that, for so long, has been highly polluting and systematically anti-consumer. It indeed was followed by advances in the implementation of the remaining mechanisms of the Renewable Energy Law, over a decade after it was enacted,” ayon kay Gerry Arances, Convenor of P4P.
Pero aniya, sa kabila ng kautusan ng Pangulo ay may 21 coal projects pa rin na nakahanay ang national pipeline bagamat alam umanong labis itong nakasisira hindi lamang sa kalusugan ng mamamayan, kundi maging sa kalikasan.
“Advocates remained along as before the pledge was made. With this, the administration made way for the heightened suffering of Filipinos from exorbitant bills, power outages, and continued pollution during the pandemic,” giit ni Arances.
“This old normal, which harms the integrity of Creation with the proliferation of coal and other fossil fuels and leaves our marginalized sectors at the mercy of private corporations, cannot continue. Our government may have gotten away from responsibility before by simply backing promises for better energy with more pledges or excuses, but the time we are in is different. The gravity of the crisis as experienced by the poor and vulnerable must be reflected in the administration’s ways forward,” dagdag ni Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, convenor ng WFC.