By Charissa Luci-Atienza
A neophyte lawmaker wants to prohibit the exploration of coal and the installation of any coal power plant in the second legislative district of Bohol, which houses the famous Chocolate Hills.
Bohol Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado noted reports that there is a plan to establish coal power plants in Bohol.
He said such a plan is strongly opposed by citizens group, faith-based organizations and environmental advocates in the province, citing its negative impacts on the environment and health of the people.
“Coal-fired power plants emit harmful substances to the environment such as mercury, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, mercury, selenium and arsenic. These chemicals cause acid rain and produce toxic substances that are hazardous to health,” Aumentado said in filing House Bill 7468.
He explained that of all energy resources, coal is one of the most injurious to the environment and health and coal by-products cause a lot of pollution which contributes to global warming and climate change.
HB 7468 aims to prohibit the exploration of coal and the installation of any coal power plant in the second legislative district of Bohol, to protect its environment and people from the negative effects of these activities.
“This measure is a move towards the attainment by Bohol province of its vision to be a prime eco-cultural tourism destination and a strong, balanced agro-industrial province, with a well-educated, God-loving and law-abiding citizenry, proud of their cultural heritage, enjoying a state of well-being and committed to sound environmental management, ” Aumentado said.
The second legislative district of Bohol comprises the municipalities of Bien Unido, Buenavista, Clarin, Dagohoy, Danao, Getafe, Inabanga, Pres. Carlos P. Garcia, San Isidro, San Miguel, Talibon, Sagbayan, Trinidad and Ubay.
The famous Chocolate Hills are situated in the municipality of Sagbayan, while the popular nature park, the Danao Adventure Park is in the municipality of Danao.
Violators of the proposed Act shall face a penalty of one to six-year imprisonment and a fine amounting from P500,000 to P3 million