Editorial: Food for thought for the legislators

HERE’S some news that our local legislators might need to read, and push for.

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) has opened its Carbon Finance Support Facility providing funding and technical assistance for installing methane recovery systems in sanitary landfills. The more concerned among the legislators should by this time be very interested. (We hope).

The bonus to this is that the local government unit (LGU or the operator of the sanitary landfill if it is a privately operated can earn “carbon credits” or certificates of emission reductions (CER) that they can sell for extra income.

This was announced last Thursday after the signing of a new agreement with LandBank and the World Bank (WB).

In the agreement, the WB commits to buy these carbon credits which the LGUs or the landfill operators can use to upgrade their facilities.

The first sanitary landfill in Mindanao was opened in Davao City in October 2009, nearly seven years ago. When constructed, it had a 46-meter pit covering 3.8 hectares estimated to contain 1.5-million tons of garbage and estimated to be filled up within 5-8 years. There has been no update on how full the landfill is now. This is something that the city council should look into as well.

For a time, there was a push to set up a waste-to-energy facility there, but this did not materialize as some hanky-panky was apparently involved and the bidders were not what they were presenting themselves to be. Nothing has been said since then. But with a landfill that is presumed to be brimming by now, this news from WB is worth a look. According to the press release about the agreement, the LandBank has committed to deliver 1.7-million carbon credits until 2020.

“This partnership with LANDBANK will help the Philippines achieve its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets while contributing to the global efforts to address climate change,” said World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi.

“Without firmer action, climate change can worsen poverty in many countries and put prosperity out of reach of millions people.”

There has been a lot of talks on the national level, but not much has been done on the ground level. We might as well initiate on our own again, as we always do.
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