Filipinos are gravely disadvantaged by a power sector dominated by fossil fuels. A decade of massive expansion led coal to occupy over half of our power generation mix today - bringing high electricity prices and subjecting consumers to perennial power disruptions due to their frequent outages. Coal, moreover, is incompatible to the Philippines’ vulnerability to the climate crisis, as dependence on it goes against all hope of keeping global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C to avert an even more catastrophic climate future. With the pollution it brings, coal also harms communities host to its facilities.
Understanding the need to end our reliance on dirty, deadly, and costly coal, Filipino civic movements and communities fought for a power sector instead fueled by renewables. The collective power of the people succeeded in forcing a decline on coal expansion. Today, however, we are confronted by another threat to the transition: gas. Touted as a clean alternative to coal and an interim fuel towards renewables, natural gas was announced as a priority by President Marcos during his first State of the Nation Address. But natural gas, more accurately labeled fossil gas, and its condensed form used for importation, liquefied natural gas (LNG), are a fossil fuel as undesirable as coal.
Like coal, LNG is costly for consumers, with estimates for electricity prices from LNG ranging from Php 9 to 16/kWh for the Philippines and on average globally - a far cry from the Php 3 to less than 6/kWh offered by renewables in the first round of green energy auctions. Like coal, fossil gas produces emissions that accelerate climate changes; it is, in fact, made of a greenhouse gas that is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period in contributing to the world’s warming. Like coal, its fumes are not something we would want to breathe. As early as 2015, even the Holy Father Pope Francis asserted that fossil gas, like coal and all other fossil fuels, must be “progressively replaced without delay.”
We, the undersigned, thus express our grave alarm over the Philippine Congress’ push for a law promoting the development of the Philippine fossil gas industry.
In promoting fossil gas as a supposed ‘bridge fuel’, the Congress blatantly ignores the massive potential the Philippines has for renewable energy (RE) - including renewables capable of supplying baseload power - a potential which it is already beginning to harness. Over the next three years, at least 13.5 GW of new RE capacity is anticipated to supply power to the national grid through the Green Energy Auction Program at highly competitive prices. This radically shifts the landscape for renewables: their further massive integration becomes a matter of when, and not if. Much progress has also been made in the development of battery and storage technologies. This also raises much question over the necessity for the nearly 40 GW of gas capacity and 12 LNG import terminals currently in the national pipeline. They are in no way a transition, but a lock-in to continued use of fossil fuels while bringing in high risks of stranding.
It makes no sense for the Philippine Congress and the government as a whole to promote fossil gas. The gas bill, moreover, is blind not only to the economic challenges already looming over the gas industry; it is also climate-blind. Global experts are in a consensus that keeping 1.5°C alive means radically reducing - not expanding - the use of fossil fuels, including fossil gas. With a law promoting fossil fuels, the government also harms the Philippines’ standing in demanding climate finance, technology, and other resources owed by historical polluters for our climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.
With this legislation, the government condemns communities across the Philippines to decades more of pollution as the bill will make a breeze out of applying for and constructing gas projects. Concerns over this are further exacerbated by the fact that the proposed fleet of LNG and gas facilities are set to be built in critically biodiverse areas, with a large concentration located in the Verde Island Passage. Their construction and operation will cause disruption to marine and coastal ecosystems and bring increased shipping of toxic cargo, endangering not only biodiversity in the VIP but also the livelihood and food security of communities dependent on it. Already victim to a still unresolved oil spill, fossil gas will place the VIP in further peril.
We, the undersigned, unite behind the understanding that fossil gas places the well-being of communities, our environment, and our society at risk, and that it is in no way a bridge fuel for renewables. The Congress has no business gambling with our climate survival and well-being. They have no business diverting more time and resources from bringing cheap, reliable, and sustainable power to Filipinos through a hastened RE transition.
We ask members of the congress to prove that they are champions of our best interests. Reject the Philippine Gas Industry Development Bill! Onward to 100% renewable energy!
1 IEEFA, “Contracting debacles underscore long-term LNG risks in the Philippines.” April 2023.
2 DOE, List of GEA-1 winning bidders with bid details. July 2022.
Archdiocesan Ministry on Environment - Archdiocese of Lipa | Bishop Gerry Alminaza, Diocese of San Carlos | Caritas Philippines | Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) | Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation - Conference of Major Superiors in the Philippines | Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) | Oceana | Philippine Movement for Climate Justice | Sanlakas
Action for Nurturing Children and Environment (ANCE) Cebu
AKKMA National Coalition Pilipinas
AKP Batangas Provincial Council
Aniban ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA)
APNIEVE Philippines (UNESCO)
Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay Social Action Center
Association of Small Farmers in Purok Ilaya
Bacolod Advocates for Shelter and Economic Development
Barangay Banago Women’s Small Vendors Association
Barangay San Roque Fisherfolks Association
Bible Apostles, San Jose Parish Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino - Negros
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino - Cebu
Bukluran Ng Mangingisda Sa Batangas (BMB)
Carmelite Sisters of Charity - Vedruna Philippines
Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (CREST)
Center for Youth Participation and Development
Christian Community Sawsawan Associations (CCSA)
Community Formation Center Dopim institute for Ministries, Inc.
Convergence of Initiatives for Environmental Justice Inc (CIEJ)
Diocese of Imus Ministry on Ecology
Ecological Desk of Diocese of Gumaca
Ecological Desk of Diocese of Lucena
Ecosilak Youth for VIP
Fellowship for the Care of Creation Association, Inc.
Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Hearts
Freedom from Debt Coalition - Cebu
Gagmay ng Kristohanon Katilingban (GKK)
Hanay ng Yumayabong na Mangingisda Fisherfolks Federation (HAYUMA)
Hirang ng Hiraya - Rights of Nature
Hugpong Gagmay Mananagat sa Sawsawan
Iglesia Filipina Independiente
Indigenous Peoples Apostolate
Institute of Spirituality in Asia
International Veterinary Students' Association Philippines CLSU Chapter
Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Network
Kabataang Katuwang sa Mapagpaunlad at Produktibong Inisyatib
Kamalapina Women in Media Organization (KAKAMPI)
Kilusan Para Sa Kabuhayan, Kalusugan, Kalikasan at Katiyakan Sa Paninirahan (K4K)
Koalisyon Ng mga Mangingisda Apektado Ng Oil Spill (KMAOS)
Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Mga Maralita ng Lungsod (KPML)
Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Mga Maralita ng Lungsod (KPML) - Cebu
La Consolacion College Manila
Laudato Si' Movement Pilipinas
Ligdung Sumbanan Alang sa mga Kabataan sa Sugbo (LiSu Organization)
LP kabalikat QCD4
Lunhaw - Ecology Ministry of the Diocese of San Carlos
Lot 1 United Resident homeowners Association (LURHA)
Mangroves Matters PH
Metro Manila Vendors Alliance (MMVA)
Misamis Association for Truth Advocates
Missionaries of the Kingship of Christ
Missionary Sisters of St. Columban
Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, BARRA - OPOL MSO
Negrosanon Young Leaders Institute Inc.
One Pawikan Initiative
Oriang Women’s Movement
Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan
Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan - Negros Occidental
Pagtambayayong Foundation Cebu
Palma Riverside Org., Cebu PRO
Parish Finance Council, Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) - Cebu
Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI)
Pier 3 Sidewalk, Inc. (PSI)
Pier 3 United Ambulant Vendors Association (PUAVA)
PMFTC Labor Union
Pundok Gagmay ng Mananagat sa Sawsawan
Pundok Sagup Kalikupan
Quezon for Environment (QUEEN)
Salvador Homeowners Association (SHOA)
Samahan Ng Kalapenyong Mangingisda (SAKAG)
Samahan ng Mamamayan Zone One Tondo, Inc. (SM-ZOTO)
Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK)
Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila
Saniblakas ng Inang Kalikasan (SALIKA)
Save Sual Movement
Sectoral Center for Policy Reforms
Secular Franciscan Third Order
Senior Citizens Organization
Silliman University Student Government Environment Committee
Silonay Youth Movement
Sipaway Seagrass Guardians
Sitio Mahayag Alliance for Socialized Housing Youth
SMASH Youth Cebu
Society of Teachers in Elementary Mathematics and Science
Solar Energy Solutions, Inc.
Stewards and Volunteers for the Earth Philippines (SAVE PH)
St. Mary's College, Quezon City
St. Michael's High School, Inc.
St.Theresa's College, Quezon City
Subic Bay Chamber for Health and Environment (SBFCHEC)
SVF V Leaders Counseling
Tara Usap Tayo (KKT)
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
TCUPHAI Homeowners Association
Teatro Handurawan Tigbawan
The Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception
United PWD Association for Rehabilitation and Development
Women's Organization for Reform Development and Solidarity (WORDS)
YEY Initiative Inc.
Youth for Better Baseco
Youth for Climate Hope (Y4CH)
Youth for Climate Justice (Y4CJ)
Youth Strike for Climate Philippines (YS4C)
With individual supporters:
Ms. Alexandria Zarate | Astred F. Colcol | Ms. Amor Tan Singco | Mr. Alvaro O. Senturias, Jr., United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) | Ms. Anne Mary Tan, Focolare Movement | Fr. Fr. Baltazar Obico, OFM, Franciscans | Mr. Bernardo Durangparang | Mr. Bernardo Larin, Alyansa Tigil Mina | Mr. Buenhijo F Diaz | Mr. Butch Junia | Mr. Carlito Bisa, BPI Employees Union-Southern Tagalog-FUBU | Dr. Carmen Alviar, Institute of Spirituality in Asia | Sr. Cora Gaballo, Carmelite Missionaries | Ellecer Carlos, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates | Sr. Elizabeth Carranza, Green Convergence, Laudato Si’ Movement Pilipinas | Ms. Eloisa Marie Inocentes | Mr. David Lim | Mr. Edilberto Guyano, Caritas Philippines/ Commission on Social Action - Justice and Peace | Mr. Crisostomo Echavez, Couples for Christ Global Mission | Mr. Edward C. Ligas - Pres. Cebu Concerned Consumers Association | Mr. Francisco Tegon, Batangas Farmer Association | Ms. Genelyn F. Brazos, Oriang / FDCP | Mr. Ghillean Pranz Fegidero, Youth for Climate Hope | Mr. Glenn Ensing, Maayo | Ms. Hillary Go, CEED | Ms. Irene Jahn Udtohan, Hirang ng Hiraya | Ms. Jannele Jimenez, Y4CH | Ms. Jocelyn Luyon, DLSU-Dasmarinas | Ms. Jovi Anne Albao | Mr. Joel Ciocon | Mr. John Ramer Casuncad, DENR Tamaraw Conservation Program | Mr. Joshua Navarro | Josephine Mata, FAS | Mr. Juan S. Concepcion, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan | Geamph A. Hate, DLSU Dasmarinas | Ms. Leida Jereza | Maria Maata | Ms. Karen Lanipao, Laudato Si’ Movement Pilipinas | Ka Leody De Guzman, Partido Lakas ng Masa | Ms. Lolita P.Vargas, Maculot Defenders | Ms. Luda Egbalic, Laudato Si’ Movement | Ms. Luzminda Adaya | Ms. Maria Martija | Ms. Maria Teresa Flores, CFC Handmaids of the Lord | Ms. Marites Bajo Deguit, LML | Ms. Marjorie Engcoy, Columban Missionaries | Sr. Mary Anne Bellosillo, Medical Mission Sisters - HEAL Eco-Spirituality Center | Mestiar Habeahan, Religious | Mechell Pielago, CFC Staff | Ms. Mary Ann Gino-ohan, PLM | Ms. Nerissa P. Gomez, St. Scholastica's College Manila | Mr. Prescilla Umaran Mr. Raven Bernales | Sr. Regina Kuizon RGS, Maryridge - Religious of the Good Shepherd | Dr. Genelyn F. Brazos | Ms. Rowena Napud | Yam Feliciano, Kabataan Partylist - Legislative Office