DAVAO CITY Councilor Pamela Librado-Morata has reiterated her opposition to the waste-to-energy (WTE) project, stressing the adverse impact on the health and environment of communities around the facilitys location. 

In a privilege speech to the city council on April 19, Ms. Morata said the proposed incinerator will affect residents of 20 barangays in Tugbok District, citing epidemiological studies in other communities near WTE facilities.   

She said the worst-hit barangay will be Biao Escuela, an agricultural community with a population of around 3,000. 

The proposed WTE will be located 2.2 kilometers from the Biao Elementary School and Biao National High School, and 550 meters away from the relocation site of displaced families in Catalunan Grande.

Alongside such possible adverse impacts on the environment and people’s health, WTE also violates the Clean Air Act, Renewable Energy Act, and Ecological Solid Waste Management Act,she said.   

In addition, the Philippines has limited technical and financial capacity to regularly monitor emissions such as dioxin, furan, and other toxic WTE by-products. This lack of strict environmental standards and regulations covering air pollution, ash disposal, and water pollution could lead to unmonitored environmental damage and adverse effects on the public’s health.”  

The councilor, who first manifested her opposition to the project in December last year, also said that the project should wait for the Supreme Court decision on a case relating to WTE guidelines of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).  

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, in her recent State of the City Address, said the local government is now partnering with the DENR to secure P740 million out of the P3.5 billion needed to implement the project. 

The city government of Davao started exploring WTE as a waste management option about four years ago as the existing sanitary landfill nears full capacity. Maya M. Padillo