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DAVAO CITY—Two Filipino scientists, one of them a Balik-Scientist expert on waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities, are joining the Davao City government team to look at the operation of the facility in a medium-sized industrial city in Japan.

The Japanese government offered to install the facilities here.

The team would leave for the ocular study of the WTE facilities in Kitakyusu City of the Japanese prefecture of Fukuoka from November 26 to December 2.

The Japanese tender was extended to Davao City following the disclosure that the sanitary landfill here has been filled to the brim, and the city environment body, the Watershed Coordinating Council, warned about the flowing out of the liquid seepage to the southern river system of the city.

Chinkie Pelino Golle, executive director of the environment group Interface Development Interventions (Idis), said City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio gave two slots for the environmentalists to join the Japan visit.

The mayor earlier listed Dr. Jorge Emmanuel, a former United Nations’s expert on WTE and who went back to work with the Department of Science and Technology under the Balik-Scientist program.

Golle said Dr. Emmanuel was among the scientists the UN assigned to inspect and evaluate WTE facilities in different countries.

The city government also took in Idis-recommended Dr. Doris Montecastro, the chief of the Ateneo de Davao University’s Department of Environmental Science.

The two scientists were expected to make their assessment and recommendation to the city “on whether or not it would be appropriate for the city’s waste disposal, and what would be its impact to the city.”

The WTE facility was being offered as a grant to the city, she added “meaning that the city would not spend on its installation.”

“The concern would be its maintenance  and the cost of conducting the periodic tests on the impact to the air and the surroundings,” she said.

Golle said Dr. Emmanuel already briefed Duterte-Carpio on the implication of putting up a  WTE, citing a facility in Belgium that Emmanuel also inspected during his stint with the UN.

Emmanuel told the mayor that Belgium used to enjoy better air quality before the facility was put up, “but, in the months following its operation, there were changes in the air composition, suspecting the particles to have come from the facility.”

“Another problem with the testing would be the cost. In Belgium the air-condition study cost the locality the equivalent of P500,000 for one test alone. Before, the locality conducted the test every quarter, but the changes in the air surrounding forced them to conduct it monthly,” she said.

The environment group EcoWaste Coalition earlier warned that many localities about to adapt or have accepted the WTE offer of foreign countries and organizations was its breaching the law against the use of incineration.

However, some legislators already filed bills to amend the section on the Clean Air Act mentioning the ban on incinerators.

Reference:

Cayon, M. (November 20, 2017). Two Filipino scientists join Davao City team to evaluate WTE facility in Japan. Business Mirror. Retrieved from https://businessmirror.com.ph/two-filipino-scientists-join-davao-city-team-to-evaluate-wte-facility-in-japan/

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