Local coal producers must be taxed to help protect our communities and water resources

December 2017

With the passage of the excise tax on coal under the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill, local coal companies have become proactive in urging the Congress' bicameral committee members to remove the bicameral report entry that repeals Presidential Decree 972, otherwise known as the Coal Development Act, that exempts coal producers from paying all  taxes, except income tax.

Atty. Angela Consuelo Ibay, WWF-Philippines' Head of Climate and Energy Program said, "Local coal producers should not be exempted from the coal tax. In essence, the coal tax should uphold the polluters pay principle to reflect the true cost of coal consumption and its social and environmental impacts. Local giant coal players must stop imposing their selfish interests in the legislative process."

Aside from releasing toxic emissions in the atmosphere, local coal production causes ecosystem disruption and water pollution because poor quality coal needs more washing, utilizing much of the already-scarce water resources. Energy production that relies on fossil fuels consumes water and has a negative impact on water resources as a result of pollution  during the production process as well as burning fossil fuels.

"Local communities are also suffering from health issues and livelihood disruption caused by coal pollution. They have to be compensated by ensuring that we have a coal tax that reflects the source and scale of social and environmental harm brought by local coal producers," Ibay  added.

WWF views that use of dirty and expensive coal will be much more constrained as renewables are becoming more competitive. WWF calls on government to act urgently to mitigate, manage, and monitor the impacts of coal production in order to protect our communities and our valuable water resources.


For more information, contact Ms. Angela Ibay at