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Group protests coal power aid

BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III

A member of Konsyumer Negros cuts her BPI ATM card to protest the continuous funding support of the bank to coal plant projects* APN photo

Members of the cause-oriented group, Konsyumer Negros, destroyed their automated teller machine cards yesterday in front of the BPI-Araneta Branch in Bacolod City, to protest what they called the continues funding of the bank in the construction of coal-fired power plants across the country.

Grid Alila, the group’s spokesperson, said they staged the protest in time for the celebration of International Earth Day and the national stakeholders meeting of BPI today.

Alila said BPI should stop supporting the construction of coal-fired power plants as those cause a lot of destruction to the environment and the community alike, adding that these also trigger high electricity cost.

He said that coal-fired power plants contribute to the worsening problem on climate change globally.

Alila added that in other countries, banks fund projects related to renewable energy, which is safer and cheaper, and BPI should do the same.

Reports from the review from coal.org showed that 15 banks in the Philippines have channeled about US$13.42 billion worth of financial services to coal developers and projects from 2009-2019.

Of the 15 banks, BPI ranked number 1, with a US$3.4 million funding for coal-fired power plants, the website also reported.

Banco de Oro and the Philippine National Bank were second and third, after they funded US$2.5-million and US$1.6-million, respectively, it added.

In a statement issued by BPI employees’ union president, Norman Nojadera, and Carlito Bisa, president of the Federation of Unions in BPI Unibank, they said that to move forward with a clean slate, instead of continuously supporting coal projects, the bank should support projects on clean energy system. The DAILY STAR tried to get the comment of BPI management but it has yet to issue an official statement on the matter.*

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