Cebu City dad defends waste-to-energy proposal

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 13,2022 - 02:10 PM
WASTE-TO-ENERGY FACILITY JVA PROPOSAL DEFENDED. In photo is Cebu City Councilor Joel Gargarera, one of the Cebu City councilors of the City Council who gave his approval to the WTE JVA proposal. | CDN DIGITAL FILE PHOTO

Cebu City Councilor Joel Gargarnera | CDN DIGITAL FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Several councilors of Cebu City came to defend the proposal to put up a waste-to-energy (WTE) facility here after an environment watchdog urged Mayor Michael Rama not to proceed with the project. 

Councilor Joel Garganera dismissed statements from Ecowaste Coalition that establishing a WTE plant in the city would only further harm the environment.

Garganera, who chairs the city’s Committee on Environment, was in favor of the project. He was among the eight councilors that gave Rama the authority to sign a joint-venture with New Sky Energy Philippines to construct the facility. 

“In sum, I guess we can all agree that solid waste continues to be a huge problem in our city and every day that it goes unsolved, it is another year that we will be filling up our city with trash. Even with proper implementation of waste segregation, such will not be addressed overnight,” Garganera said in a statement. 

“But we have to walk before we can run. I also desire for a zero-waste practice in our city, but it is also a matter of policy for us to see how we can go from where we are and where we want to be in the future,” he added. 

Last weekend, Ecowaste Coalition issued a statement, calling Rama to junk the proposed WTE facility. 

The group described the plan as harmful to the city’s environment as well as an ‘expensive, quick-fix solution’ to its long-overdue solid waste management problem.

They also cautioned the city government that they may be tied down to a decades-long contract that may not be sustainable in the long run. 

In response, Garganera said innovations such as waste-to-energy technologies would help the city address its issues arising from its garbage collection ‘more efficiently and effectively’, and can even serve as an alternative source of energy. 

He also said New Sky Energy Philippines, the firm that proposed the WTE project, has already ‘undergone environmental technology verification’. 

“(And), let it be said that this is not a quick-fix solution by the city… I rather see it as a transitionary measure to address our current waste generation of 600 tons a day, our scarcity of land to build up new landfills, and the more substantial risks that we face in operating a dumpsite or landfill,” added Garganera. 

The city council approved last March 11 a resolution granting Rama the authority to approve New Sky Energy’s proposal to put up a six-hectare WTE facility.

Rama has yet to make an official decision on the matter.

RELATED STORIES

Ecowaste Coalition to Rama: Don’t approve WTE JVA

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TAGS: Cebu City, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, City Councilor Joel Garganera, environment, waste-to-energy facility

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