CEBU CITY, Philippines — Green groups on Wednesday expressed their opposition to the proposal of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to put up an incinerator waste-to-energy (WTE) facility.
The groups said that such project will exacerbate Cebu’s public health and the ecological crisis caused by climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Establishing WTE facilities is an extremely expensive and dirty solid waste management method which will cause more harm to the environment and accelerate climate change”.
Cebu City’s strategy on climate and post-disaster resilience should be based on ecological and sustainable principles, they said.
“We urge Mayor Rama to rethink and scrap his plan of putting up a WTE facility in the city and consider instead investing in renewable energy sources.” said Atty. Kristine Joy Argallon of the Philippine Earth Justice Center (PEJC).
“Cebu City to carry heavy financial baggage”
Meanwhile, according to the public network EcoWaste Coalition, the City will end up shouldering a heavy financial burden by entering into a contract with the contractor/provider of the WTE facility.
“Typical WTE contracts have decades-long terms and contain lock-in provisions that will bind the City to expensive and onerous obligations for a long time.”
According to the green group, this is an unnecessary expenditure of public funds on a system that is dangerous to public health and the environment.
The group said the City’s strategy should be based on a robust implementation of programs that focus on waste minimization, materials recovery and recycling.
“We hope Mayor Rama and the Cebu City Council will scrap the waste-to-energy plans for the city and reconsider their approach to waste management,” said Atty. Lievj Alimangohan of the EcoWaste Coalition.
The said groups called on the Cebu City Government to pursue genuine ecological solutions as mandated by existing environmental laws in the country.