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Antique governor bans coal power plants in province

SAN JOSE, Antique, Philippines - No coal-fired power plant will be built in the province of Antique according to a declaration released by Governor Salvacion Z. Perez on Wednesday, as the province welcomes the first-ever visit of Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior. “The earth has provided us with renewable energy. It is time to harness this energy to generate electricity and it is our aim to drastically and ultimately stop the use of fossil fuels especially coal as source of energy. Antique is leading the way in mitigating climate change, and Antiqueños should be proud of this," said Governor Perez in statement released to the media. Gov Perez also chairs the influential Regional Development Committee for Western Visayas which charts the development strategy for the provinces of Antique, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Negros Occidental and Guimaras. She has proposed to governors of other provinces in Western Visayas to make the region a model for renewable energy development and reject polluting coal-fired power plants. “As we welcome to our province the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior in its “Quit Coal, Save the Climate" Southeast Asia tour, Antique also calls on the other provinces of Western Visayas to work towards making Western Visayas a model for renewable energy development and utilization. As Regional Development Council Chair, I vigorously urge our leaders in Region 6 to pursue with haste renewable energy. Let us all join hands in protecting this earth and pursuing our God-given gifts of renewable energy from the sun, wind, water, heat, and biomass," Gov Perez added. The Philippines is blessed with abundant sun, wind and geothermal that can be harnessed to power the country's development and make it independent from fossil fuel imports like coal and oil which are expensive and harmful to the world's climate. The Phililippines’ wind potential of 70,000 MW alone can supply the entire country’s energy needs. “Gov Perez is setting a historic precedence with this regional renewable energy development model which can be replicated by other regions in the country. Greenpeace believes that real energy security and independence can be achieved through decentralized energy systems powered by renewable energy from the sun, wind, geothermal and modern biomass. Renewable energy sources can provide cheap, abundant and environmentally-friendly electricity to the entire country," said Von Hernandez, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. Renewable energy is starting to gain momentum in the Philippines following the passage of the Renewable Energy Bill by the lower house. The RE Bill passage comes in the heels of strong statements by Senators Zubiri and Cayetano to shift government policy towards renewable energy and to phase out coal. Albay has also declared the province a coal-free zone upon the arrival of Rainbow Warrior there in May. The Rainbow Warrior is in the Philippines to spearhead the Greenpeace Quit Coal Tour in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The tour aims to promote solutions to stop climate change—an energy revolution away from the use of climate-damaging coal, and a massive shift to renewable energy. - GMANews.TV