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No Burn Pilipinas together with environment groups hit Sen. Gatchalian for being hell-bent on pursuing waste incineration in the Philippines despite opposition from various civil society organizations, academe and health institutions due to a number of concerns as experienced in other countries. The senator is expected to sponsor a substitute bill on waste-to-energy in today’s regular session of the senate.
“We are asking the senator the big question WHY is he still insisting his bill would allow waste incineration? During public hearings and technical working group meetings, we have already presented our case why incineration is bad for our environment, health and climate.” said Glenn Ymata, No Burn Campaigner of Break Free From Plastic Philippines in a statement. “Moreover, waste-to-energy incineration projects will also only drain the coffers of the local government units because of lopsided contracts with WTE operators. Soon these LGUs will go bankrupt.” added Ymata.
The groups say that Sen. Gatchalian is being misled to believe that waste-to-energy is safe and can provide a significant contribution to the country's energy mix. With the 22 WTE projects being proposed across the country, the total combined output is just 300 MW. To sustain these WTEs, it will require around 15,000 metric tons per day as feedstock which will eventually produce an estimated 3.67 million metric tons of CO2 emission annually. Not to mention the dioxins and furans that these incinerators will release into our environment. These are the most harmful persistent organic pollutants known scientifically and could last in our surrounding for up to a hundred of years.
Once the bill is approved, the real winners are the plastics industry and big waste companies who will be absolved of their culpability of plastic pollution. It will enrich them more from the profit they will gain at the expense of taxpayers. Vulnerable communities will also be more susceptible to the impacts of waste incineration on health, climate and the environment.
Finally, the government is being asked to provide subsidies and incentives in billions of pesos just to build and sustain these WTE facilities. “In times of crisis that we are currently experiencing due to Covid-19, isn’t it more proper to be prudent in public spending and prioritize public health instead of burning our trash and people’s money?” ended Ymata.
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For more info, a video statement is also available at: https://bit.ly/3gyl23Z
Geri Matthew Carretero, BFFP Philippines Communications Officer, +63 917 6216901
About No Burn Pilipinas – No Burn Pilipinas is an alliance of environmental, justice, climate, rights and health groups who are opposed to waste incineration, including thermal waste-to-energy, and are working to promote the Zero Waste approach to resource management. www.facebook.com/noburnpilipinas