Press Release
February 24, 2010


SENATOR Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. today discouraged the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative to put up a coal-fired power plant in the city as he persuaded the government to invest more on exploration and development of renewable energy resources, such as biomass, solar, hydro and others.

For immediate solution to power crisis, the senator recommended that either national government or local government units should invest in solar energy.

"There is resurgence of solar energy production. It is the quickest, available and reliable alternative solution to power crisis. Germany and China are mass producing solar power," he informed the reporters. He explained that solar panels and their accessories are expensive but it is long-lasting and require very little maintenance.

For a long-term solution, Bong Revilla offered the use of renewable energy.

Under the Renewable Energy Act, which he co-authored, provides alternative use of solar, wind and water as the safe sources of electricity.

"It should be promoted rather than putting up a fossil-fuel power station," he said.

Earlier, Betty Marquez, spokesperson for the local electric cooperative, said the company is seriously considering of generating electricity from coal-fired plant.

She said the power supply they get from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines is insufficient. The city's consumption is about 78 megawatts and they only get half of it because of the El Nino phenomenon.

As of present, there are nine coal-fired power plants in the country. The senator said it will help ease the power shortage in the province but he warned the irreversible effects of the same.

Bong Revilla enumerated some of the harmful effects of fossil-fuel energy, which include air pollution - a result in the formation of smog; weaker crops - through the smog that trickle down the plants and damage the leaves' cell membranes; and coal burning releases nitrous oxide that destroys the atmosphere.

"Research also showed that it also affect the health condition of the people. Studies noted that children, as well as adults living near the coal-fired power plants have developed respiratory illnesses," the senator added.

In order to expedite the development of renewable energy resources, Bong Revilla explained that the same is open for investors. In fact, the law provides incentives to developers by giving a seven-year tax holiday and tax exemptions.

"In effect, the electric cost will be inexpensive and the consumers will have a reliable and environment-friendly power supply," the senator concluded.

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