Piglas Batangas! Piglas Pilipinas!

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PIGLAS in a Filipino word that means the act of breaking free.

12963667_1761825240718477_7692501051660956268_nPiglas Pilipinas! is a nationwide campaign for the Philippines to break free from fossil fuel, beginning with coal. Building on the efforts and achievements of various ant-coal campaigning initiatives, Piglas Pilipinas! is aimed at taking the anti-coal struggle to a higher level with a clear call and direction towards a fossil-free future.

PIGLAS is also an acronym for the Filipino phrase pinag-isang lakas, meaning “a uniting of the strengths of many.”

The campaign is powered by the united efforts of different organizations and movements across the country. It is drawing from the combined strength of local community actions as well as campaigning in provincial and national capitals.

In the next few weeks Piglas Pilipinas! will make an intense push to highlight the call for the end of coal…..

The Philippines will be holding national elections on May 9, 2016 for nearly allfb-share-image elective posts in government. Piglas Pilipinas is working to make Coal Energy an election issue and draw public attention to it, and challenge candidates to take a stand and if elected to take action on long standing demands on coal energy.

From May 4 to May 14, there is a big globally coordinated effort to escalate the fight against fossil fuels – Break Free from Fossil Fuels 2016 – “a global wave of mass actions will target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy. “ Piglas Pilipinas! is part of this global initiative, the Philippines being one of 15 countries where escalated actions against fossil fuels are being organized.

Piglas Batangas! Piglas Pilipinas!

vertical-coloredThe high point of the campaign during this period is a massive mobilization on May 4 in Batangas City, the capital of the province of Batangas. It will involve over 10,000 participants from Batangas City as well as from other cities and towns of Batangas province, the nearby provinces of Quezon, Laguna, Mindoro and Cavite, and from Metro Manila.

The province of Batangas is home to 2 coal power plants, one of which is the oldest in the country, with a combined capacity of 735 megawatts. Construction of two new power plants has already begun, which include 5 boiler units with a combined capacity of 1,135 megawatts. A fifth coal plant is proposed to be built in the barangay of Pinamucan Ibaba in Batangas City. Consisting of 2 boiler units of 300 megawatts each, the Pinamucan plant is a project of the JG Summit Holdings company owned by the Gokongwei family – one of the ten richest families in the country.

Batangas province residents have been witness and victims to the terrible and deadly effects of coal plants. Thus it is one of the places in the Philippines where there is strong local resistance to coal energy.

The May 4 mobilization will highlight the demand to stop the building of new coal plants and the phase-out of the existing coal plants in Batangas. It will also symbolize nationwide opposition to coal mining and coal energy in the Philippines.

While on May 14, frontline communities in Calaca, Batangas will lead in escalating their struggle against the expansion of DMCI’s coal plant in Calaca, which is currently the longest operating coal plant in the Philippines.

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The proliferation of coal-dependence further exacerbates the conditions of peoples already vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. We demand:Implement a community managed rehabilitation program for all local communities and eco-systems affected by coal -fired plants and coal mines.

  1. Cancel all plans, permits and construction stage for coal-fired power plants in Batangas and the rest of the country. The government’s energy program is pursuing a major expansion of coal energy in the near future, with 27 new plants in the pipeline involving a total of 57 boiler units for a combined 8,429 megawatts.

  1. Implement a program for a swift phase out of all existing coal-fired plants in Batangas and the rest if the country. There are 19 existing coal plants (31 boiler units) providing a combined total of 5,832 megawatts of electricity.

  1. Close down all coal mines beginning with Semirara and cancel all plans and permits for new coal mines.

  1. Mobilize resources – domestic as well as climate finance from developed countries which is part of their obligation under the Climate Convention – and implement a comprehensive program for a quick transition to clean and renewable energy for people and communities.

  1. Ensure a just transition – implement a program for alternative jobs and livelihoods for all workers and communities that will be economically displaced by the transition to clean and renewable energy;


What is Break Free?

Break Free is a movement, an idea, and a call for action. To help build this movement, this online platform has been created so people and organizations who share our Common Values can organize or participate in large-scale actions around the world. These actions will support ongoing campaigns and reinforce shared goals: the rapid, just transition from the fossil fuel economy of the past to the 100% renewable and clean energy future that climate justice demands. Click here to see the values that will define all Break Free actions.

Break Free from Fossil Fuels is not a legal entity and is not intended to create any formal established legal personality, network or coalition. It is a platform through which people can take and create actions anywhere across the globe, whilst adhering to the agreed Values.

What are you hoping to achieve?

Following the COP21 summit in Paris we are still left with these urgent needs: more action to keep fossil fuels in the ground and an acceleration in the just transition to 100% renewable energy. These mobilisations will shine a light on those needs, help spread information about crucial new and existing local campaigns to fight fossil fuels, and continue to shift political power away from the fossil fuel industry and towards grassroots groups who are at the frontlines of a great energy and economic transformation. We want to help open the doorway to more and more people willing to increase their own commitment and to demonstrate the moral urgency of ending the use of fossil fuels and choosing renewables.

Will there be civil disobedience?

Yes. 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded and the impacts of climate change are already hitting communities around the world. From rising sea levels to extreme storms, climate change is with us now and the need to act has never been more urgent. Our actions must reflect the scale and urgency of this crisis in a way that governments can no longer ignore.

What projects are being targeted?

Break Free from Fossil Fuels will be targeting some of the most iconic and dangerous fossil fuel projects all over the world. Mobilisations are being organised in the countries listed above.The local and national organisers are currently developing the exact details of the mobilisations in coordination with regional and global partners. To find out more about mobilisation plans in your region and to help shape those plans sign up now and we will be in touch soon to tell you more.

Why mobilise in May?

May is our moment. Unlike previous mobilisations, this effort is not linked to any particular government summit, conference or legislation. This is a moment where we, the movement, set the terms. And quite simply, we picked May as a moment that worked for us to mobilise across a dozen or more countries across the globe.

What kind of support will be provided?

We are in the process of setting up international working groups to provide guidance and resources to each local/national organising team. These mobilisations will be designed so that people with all levels of experience can take part. The specific legal, security, and financial support for each location will vary and more detail will be available soon.