In June 2015, protesters led by Church leaders, marched in protest of a planned coal power plant in Atimonan town, the third coal power plant that the province of Quezon would host . More than 1,500 protesters dramatized opposition to the proposed 1,200-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in the town that faces the Pacific Ocean, some 173 km south of Manila. “As we celebrate the World Environment Day (June 5), we also declare our strong opposition to another coal-fired power plant in Quezon province,” said Efrelyn Escultura-Calabano, assistant program officer of Tanggol Kalikasan-Southern Luzon.. Dubbed as “Lakad-Dasal-Bibliya para sa Kalikasan,” the procession first went around town before stopping in front of the municipal hall for a short program. The marchers proceeded to the town’s Our Lady of the Angels Parish Church grounds for an overnight vigil. The program at the church compound was filled with speeches against coal-fired power plants, protest songs and dances. In a statement, the protesters urged the public “to stand up and demand that governments and energy producers respect the (people’s) fundamental right to breathe clean air and not see it as a threat to their profits.” “Coal-fired power plants speed up global warming,” the protesters said. Originally, plant proponent Meralco PowerGen planned to put up a liquefied natural gas (LNG) combined cycle power plant on a 80-hectare land in Barangay Villa Ibaba. However, Meralco converted the project to a coal plant in the absence of a government policy supporting the LNG industry. The local government has already approved the project that would generate 1,000 to 2,000 jobs for local construction workers aside from a tax windfall expected from the plant’s operations.
Quezon province is already host to two coal-fired power plants. The existing 735-MW plant in Pagbilao town facing Tayabas Bay is now being extended with an additional 420-MW plant. Mauban town, also along the shores of the Pacific Ocean, is host to a 1,500-MW plant..
On October 5, 2017 , CLIMATE justice activists held a rally at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) office in Ayala Triangle, Makati protesting against the bank’s financing of a new coal-fired power plant in Atimonan, Quezon and other coal projects. The protest action is part of Piglas Pilipinas, a nationwide campaign for the Philippines to break free from fossil fuels. “Coal is not the answer to our country’s energy needs,” said Philippine Movement for Climate Justice Coordinator Ian Rivera. “Contrary to the coal industry’s persisting propaganda, coal is neither cheap nor clean. In fact, it has time and again been proven to be dirty, costly, and deadly.” Rivera said coal is the culprit for the health problems suffered by communities that host coal-fired power plants. The protest at the Makati central business district is part of the Reclaim Power Global Wave of Actions for a just energy transformation . “The science of climate change is unequivocal, it’s undeniable, and so now, action to transform our energy system is urgent and must be done immediately,” said Asian Peoples’ Movement of Debt and Development (APMDD) Coordinator Lidy Nacpil. “According to the latest numbers from the UN, over 80% of all remaining fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas will have to remain unburned if the world is to avoid extremely dangerous climate change,” Nacpil said.
“Reclaim Power is about demonstrating that while the current energy system fails on so many levels, including its failure to resolve the energy poverty of 1.2 billion people in the world who continue to have no access to any electricity, we have solutions using renewable energy technology that can decentralize power production and actually get it to all people in a democratic, people-controlled way,” she said.
“We need to ensure community and public control of our energysystems, to ensure that people’s access is prioritized over profit,” said 350.org Digital Communications Campaigner and Coordinator Chuck Baclagon.