November 13, 2017
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will start a three (3) year technical cooperation project to improve the capacity of selected local government units (LGUs) in using advanced or innovative technologies for solid waste management.
In some highly urbanized cities, increased waste generation has prompted LGUs to study use of new technologies that could reduce volume of waste and treat them using proper technology.
Secretary Roy Cimatu of DENR and Chief Representative Susumu Ito of JICA signed recently the Record of Discussion to jumpstart the cooperation that will commence in 2018.
Secretary Cimatu expressed gratitude to JICA for this technical cooperation and stated that this partnership is very timely and relevant in addressing the issue of the country on solid waste management He also assured close coordination between and among DENR, JICA and the LGUs for the smooth and successful implementation of the project.
Local governments commonly use rehabilitated dump sites for waste disposal and only a few operate sanitary landfills as land availability and freight costs have burdened many LGUs.
Advanced countries have since used new technologies to deal with waste management. In Japan, Kitakyushu City, for example, generates around 1,300 tons per day of solid waste and transforms around 70% of that into energy. To date, Kitakyushu also has strategic partnership on environment with Davao and Cebu cities.
Meantime, under the project, DENR and the LGUs personnel will have an opportunity to build their capacity on waste to energy and solid waste management technologies. Also, the LGUs will receive assistance on planning and development.
Already, the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) has issued guidelines in 2016 on establishing and operating waste to energy technologies to set standards and safeguards. Said guidelines will eventually be translated into a department order for the approval of the environment chief.
In the Philippines, several private companies have already expressed interest to establish waste to energy facilities.
With the cooperation, LGUs will hopefully find sustainable solutions to waste management issues and challenges.