Senator Win Gatchalian repeated the proposal to build waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities in the country as a means of waste management in the increasing waste caused by the continued implementation of quarantine restrictions in the affected communities.
This includes medical wastes that according to the Department of Health (DOH) must first undergo waste treatment before they can be collected and taken to the appropriate waste storage.

“Contrary to the view of others that the operation of the WTE plant would be dangerous to public health and the environment, such a facility even has air pollution control systems to ensure that any smoke that comes out does not violate the standards stated in the Philippine Clean Air Act.

“The proposal to promote WTE facilities will ensure that it is complied with,” said Gatchalian.

The senator is referring to the provision in Section 5 of Senate Bill 1789 or the proposed WTE Act, which is the lead author, which states that the only WTE plant that should be built has waste treatment technologies that will ensure that it does not emit toxic fumes and complies with current rules, regulations and laws.

Failure to meet the said conditions shall be subject to appropriate penalties in addition to the immediate closure of the secretary of the Department of Environment at Natural Resources (DENR).

The bill also stipulates the environmental and health safeguards to be implemented by the DENR and DOH, the chief agencies in charge of the regulation of such facilities.

WTE refers to the process of producing energy from wastes that have undergone treatment.

In his research, the Senate Energy Committee Chairperson said that over the past two decades, WTE industries in Europe, North America, and Asia have developed energy-producing technologies and are among the cleanest sources of thermoelectric energy, the process of converting heat into electricity.

Moreover, WTE plants in Italy, Spain, Japan, and Germany that comply with strict regulations prove that WTE is effective.

WTE facilities can be affiliated with the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because it will reduce the use of petroleum and increase the production of energy from renewable sources,” said Gatchalian.

The legislator also assured that the construction of WTE facilities will not be costly and will not be an obstacle to recovery from the pandemic caused by COVID-19 as the bill states that local government units (LGUs) will not undertake its construction.

Instead, it will be attended by the project proponent from the private sector. Only the processing fee will be paid by the LGU each time it uses the facility and it is based on fair and equitable standards.


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