Non-profit group seeks use of renewable energy in PH health sector

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 16 2017 07:05 PM

MANILA - A non-profit group on Friday launched a campaign that calls for the health sector's speedy transition towards use of renewable energy.

Health Case Without Harm Asia (HCWHA) is pushing for further use of renewable energy in the Philippines by launching the #ChooseHealthyEnergy campaign, citing a World Health Organization study that 8 million people die due to air pollution every year. 

Instead of opening the country's doors to more coal plants, HCWHA said more investments on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power should be promoted.

One of the organization's targets is to encourage use of renewable energy in hospitals. One example of a gradual transition is the Philippine Heart Center, which relies on solar panels for 1 percent of its energy supply.

"Translated to pesos, that would be P40,000 to P50,000 per month," said Ramon San Pascual, HCWHA Executive Director.

"The health sector itself should be at the forefront of this campaign. First, they are listened to. Secondly, hospitals are driven by heavy energy use," he said.

A recent study by Harvard University published by Greenpeace, HCWHA, and the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice also showed that around 2,400 Filipinos die every year due to air pollution caused by coal.

Through the help of HCWHA ambassadors, including Sen. Risa Hontiveros and former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral, the organization hopes to promote its initiatives so that it would reach those in the health sector and key government agencies such as the Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Department of Health.