ENVIRONMENTALISTS are continuously opposing the Davao City government's move to push for the establishment of the waste-to-energy (WTE) incineration, and even urged the public to boycott local officials supporting the project
Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag recently confirmed that the construction of the 10-hectare WTE project worth P2.5 billion in Biao Escuela, Tugbok District will start in the third quarter this year.
Al-ag said the funding of the project will be coming from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said in her State of the City Address speech that the project will be a “long-term solution” to the city's solid waste problem.
The project will also decongest the New Carmen Sanitary Landfill in Tugbok, as it is close to reaching its maximum capacity.
However, No Burn Philippines representative Lorenzo de Vera said on Wednesday, April 17, that the waste incineration project would pose environmental and health hazards.
De Vera said the local government would have not reached its current problem if the Ecological Solid Waste Management Ordinance of 2009 were strictly implemented.
"Instead nga ihatag nato ning investment sa pagsunog sa basura, why not tagaan nato og investment kining mga informal waste pickers nato, since ila live livelihood is mag scavenge sa landfill (Instead of investing in burning wastes, why not provide informal waste pickers livelihood?)," he said during the AFP-PNP press conference at the Royal Mandaya Hotel.
No Burn Philippines, a non-government organization, launched nationwide a postering campaign against WTE incinerator candidates nationwide.
Although he did not specify names, De Vera said majority of the City Council endorsed the establishment of the WTE facility.
He also said the group is calling on the council to review the project.
Aside from posing hazards, he said that putting up WTE plants in the country is illegal.
"We would like to remind the city government that according to the Clean Air Act and Solid Waste Management Act, incineration plants are illegal specially in Davao City, dahil direct nito susunugin ang basura," De Vera said.
The environment group also said the WTE plant will not address the current electricity need of the city, as it would be able to generate less than seven megawatts per day.
De Vera also said the group is seeking for the transparency of the project.
"If the construction pushes through, we would like to know if they have complied the necessary documents, such as Environmental Compliance Certificate, and Environmental Impact Assessment plan, because everyone has the right to know," he said.