French agency extends P35.5 M grant for Pasay City waste management program

Published July 23, 2020, 5:15 PM

by Roy Mabasa

Known for many years as one of the dirtiest cities in Metro Manila, Pasay City has been chosen as a pilot area for the €623,000 (PHP 35.5 million) grant from the French Development Agency (AFD) to help strengthen the city’s household waste management.

The choice of Pasay City was concluded following the signing of the grant agreement between Marie-Pierre Bourzai, head of AFD’s Territories and Enterprises Division and Jacques Gautier, president of Syctom, the Metropolitan Agency for the Treatment of Household Waste in the Paris Region, last July 21, the French Embassy said in a statement on Thursday.

Undertaken in partnership with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the three-year project also seeks to contribute to improving the quality of the water of the Pasig River. 

Metro Manila produces about 6,700 tons of household waste per day. In the absence of an effective waste collection system for its 17 million inhabitants, around 17 percent of the region’s waste from various neighborhoods ends up in the Pasig River through dumping or by being washed away by floods.

To address this, the MMDA requested Syctom to lead the waste treatment solutions at the Tripa de Gallina pumping station in Pasay City, one of the most critical and vital pumping stations in Metro Manila that is directly connected to the Manila Bay. 

The stretch of the Tripa de Gallina itself, particularly at the Tramo Bridge in Pasay City, contains one of the highest level of coliform (bacteria), measured at about 92 million most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters as of October 2019.

This pilot project, which is expected to benefit between 20,000 and 25,000 residents of various barangays in Pasay City, will complement the wastewater phytotreatment system managed by the Greater Paris Interdepartmental Syndicate for Sanitation (SIAAP). 

The objective of this project is to locally implement a multi-channel platform which includes an electromechanical composting unit for organic waste (to treat around 40 percent to 50 percent of household waste deposit), a reinforced Material Recovery Facility (a small scale waste disposal and transfer center) for the management of recyclables, as well as the recovery of hazardous waste such as electrical and electronic equipment waste.

Syctom also plans to seek the best solutions to improve the Tripa de Gallina pumping station’s treatment of screen waste – waste whose level of contamination does not allow recycling.

The French agency said this pilot project in Pasay City aims to be eventually replicated throughout Metro Manila after the 3-year phase of raising awareness among local residents towards more sustainable practices, improving the Pasig River’s water quality, and reducing health risks.

AFD is a French government financial institution that implements the policy defined by its government, including in areas of fighting poverty and promotion of sustainable development.