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Greenpeace declares Guimaras coal-free

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By Tara Yap

Iloilo City—The island province of Guimaras has been declared coal-free by the environmental watchdog Greenpeace International.

“We want to show the world that we don’t need dirty energy to power development. The people of Guimaras have embraced renewable over dirty and polluting energy,” said Governor Samuel Gumarin during the visit last Sunday of Greenpeace’s ship, Rainbow Warrior.

Greenpeace cited the 54-megawatt (MW) wind farm in San Lorenzo town built by Phinma Energy Corp., which is formerly Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp.

“Our vision is the same as the vision of Guimaras, which is leading the way in renewable energy,” said Yeb Sano, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

The group chose Guimaras as one of the stops for its Climate Justice tour in the country because the province has bounced back from the oil spill incident in August 2006, which is considered as the worst oil spill disaster in Philippine history.

Gumarin noted how the provincial government and the five municipal governments have pushed environmental policies such as Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) program, anti-plastic ordinances and organic farming.

The Rainbow Warrior’s next stop is Tacloban City on February 28.

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