Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu wants to ensure that the establishment and operation of a waste-to-energy facility for the treatment of municipal solid wastes will not violate any law.
He issued Administrative Order 2019-21 providing the guidelines on environmentally sound evaluation, establishment, operation and decommissioning or closure of waste-to-energy technologies for the management of the municipal solid wastes.
“With these guidelines, we hope that we will be able to demonstrate in a pilot basis one solution to the waste problem using waste-to-energy method without violating Republic Act 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999,” he said.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is looking at waste-to-energy as a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to the traditional sanitary landfill, which is the waste disposal method allowed under RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
The DENR chief said the country’s garbage woes were only getting worse, especially in Metro Manila, that generates about 56,000 cubic meters of trash per day.
“The problem on solid waste is one of the primary issues that we must address immediately,” he said.
He gave the assurance that the waste-to-energy guidelines “adhere to the policy of the government to ensure the protection of public health and environment.”
The order follows set guidelines and targets for solid waste avoidance and volume reduction through source reduction and waste minimization measures in accordance with ecologically sustainable development practices.
The guidelines comply with Presidential Decree 1586 (Establishing an Environmental Impact Assessment System), emission standards as contained in RA 8749 (Clean Air Act), effluent standards as contained in RA 9275 (Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004), and regulation on the use and disposal of hazardous substances and waste as stipulated in RA 6969 (Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Act of 1990).