Environmental group prods Senate to kill off pro-waste incineration bill

Published February 26, 2021, 3:19 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Pollution watchdog EcoWaste Coalition is urging senators to take the lead in keeping the ban on waste incineration amid an aggressive move by their House of Representatives counterparts to institutionalize it.

(PHOTO VIA ELLSON QUISMORIO/ MANILA BULLETIN)

“As we commemorate the EDSA Revolution, we also call on the members of the Senate to set a high moral leadership and put into action the virtues of democracy and love for our country. We need to stop sacrificing our communities and it will start by scrapping the Waste-to-Energy Bill,” Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition, said in a statement Friday, Feb.26.

According to Lucero, one of the recent injustices against nature was the House of Representatives’ push to promote incineration under the guise of waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities, as well as the attempt to repeal specific provisions in the Clean Air Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and other relevant laws. 

It was on November 24, 2020 when the House approved on third and final reading House Bill (HB) 7829, or the proposed “Waste Treatment Technology Act.” The measure allows for the use of WTE technologies, including incineration, with the caveat that it shouldn’t produce poisonous or toxic fumes.

The congressmen have packaged the proposed law as a solution to the country’s perennial garbage problem. A counterpart measure is still pending at the Senate floor.

Last year, with the onset of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the declaration of a climate emergency by the Lower Chamber, several environment groups, including the EcoWaste Coalition, made the urgent call for policies in mitigating the waste and climate crisis. The declaration urged local governments and government bodies to adopt policies to mitigate climate change.

According to a factsheet by GAIA Asia Pacific, WTE incineration–while marketed in the guise of advancing renewable energy–is not an environmentally sustainable form of energy source and waste management solution.

It is a known fact that when burning of waste happens, toxic substances are released which undeniably compromise the health and safety of individuals, the factsheet said.

“It is really very important in calling on the government to scrap this proposal on waste-to-energy incineration and to show its sincerity for the sake of the health and well-being of the people,” Lucero said.

“Our lawmakers should instead uphold our existing environmental laws and approve the green laws pending in the 18th Congress, including the passage of the National Single-Use Plastics Ban as well as ordinances that would hold culprits accountable of polluting practices,” she further said.

 
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