More coal plants seen to add to hundreds killed yearly by their pollution

Adverse health impacts linked to air pollution could more than double in Metro Manila and four other provinces in Luzon should proposed coal-fired power plants be switched on, a study of an independent research group projected.

The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air said the country’s existing 10-gigawatt coal capacity was responsible for 630 air pollution-related deaths in the Philippines last year. The number of annual deaths is expected to increase to more than 1,000 once all nine gigawatts of pending coal plants proceed.

The report, released on November 11, looked into pollution caused by coal-fired power plants and its health impacts. Luzon, which has the highest megawatt capacity of installed coal plants, suffers almost 68 percent of the projected deaths due to air pollution, according to the study.

Its burden could rise to 77 percent of the 1,009 estimated premature deaths as it hosts most of the proposed coal plants.

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