The Department of Finance (DOF) wants to stop burning coal in Mindanao, in line with the government’s program aimed at promoting sustainable investments.

During the launching of the Philippine Sustainable Finance Roadmap and Guiding Principles on Wednesday, Oct. 20, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the government will retire all coal-fired power plants in Mindanao.

Dominguez said the government is exploring a financing mechanism that will fund the rehabilitation and increase the generating capacity of the Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex in Lanao del Norte.

“As we improve our renewable energy resource, we will retire coal-fired plants in the region,” said Dominguez, who is also the chairman of the Climate Change Commission.

This plan for Mindanao to completely phaseout coal will be launched at 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland next week, the finance chief said.

“This could serve as a model for coal dependent emerging economies to gradually shift from fossil fuels to more sustainable and greener energy sources,” Dominguez added.

Last April, Dominguez said the DOF and the Department of Energy developed a plan to rehabilitate the Agus River system and was studying the possibility of setting up a fund to acquire all the coal-powered plants in the region.

He explained that the “idea” was to shutdown all coal-powered plants as energy delivery of the Agus River increases.

Dominguez said they want Mindanao to be completely or at least 90 percent powered by renewable-energy resources.

The government tapped the Asian Development Bank study the viability of the plan.

On Wednesday, the government presented the Philippine Sustainable Finance Roadmap and Guiding Principles on policy and regulatory gaps in promoting sustainable investments.

He described the launching as “a major step forward in our comprehensive national effort to combat climate change and support our sustainable recovery and development.”

“The Roadmap underscores our commitment to deliver on our carbon reduction pledges. We hope this roadmap will inspire other countries towards adopting the appropriate finance policies that will help in the reduction of carbon emissions,” Dominguez said.