We support the call of the Visayas EcoConvergence, as Negros Island leads the way in rejecting coal power plants and the transition to renewable energy.
We demand an immediate mine audit of the continued operations of Semirara coal mines in Antique.
We suspect that we are not benefiting from this mine operations, because it has too many incentives, it is not transparent in its tax payments and it has a very incomplete cost-benefit analysis.
We export most, if not the total coal production of Semirara mines, and we are practically fueling the industrialization of China and other countries.
We note that mine accidents in Feb 2013, July 2015, May 2018, Oct 2019 happened in Semirara, and the same risks and threats to mine workers and communities will continue.
The impact of coal mining to agricultural and fisheries is substantial, but not clearly monitored nor documented by the Dept. Of Agriculture.
We believe that Semirara coal mines poses a direct threat to water and food security of the people of Panay, aside from increasing the climate-induced impacts.
The use of coal for dirty energy in the Philippines must be fast-tracked, and we should start by holding Semirara mines and DCMI accountable for its operations.