Velasco asks Senate: Pass waste-to-energy bill to address PH trash woes

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco. Photo from the Office of Cong. Velasco | SOURCE :

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Thursday urged the Senate to approve the bill allowing the use of waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies in order to address the country’s garbage problem.

Velasco said it is time for the government to consider the adoption of WTE technologies in the treatment and disposal of solid waste as many of the country’s landfills will soon be filled up.

“The huge amount of waste that we produce threatens to overwhelm our landfills and create worse garbage disposal problems,” Velasco, former chair of the House committee on energy, said in a statement.

“Before this happens, we must now look for cleaner and more sustainable methods to treat and dispose of solid waste, such as WTE,” he added.

The House of Representatives passed House Bill No, 7829 or the “Waste Treatment Technology Act” in November last year while a similar measure remains pending in the Senate for second-reading approval.

The House version of the measure seeks to amend Republic Act No. 8749 or the Clean Air Act of 1999 and allowing the use of any WTE technology, including incineration, as long as it does not produce poisonous or toxic fumes.

Velasco said WTE technologies convert waste into energy and, thus, minimize the amount of trash sent to landfills.

“WTE facilities provide a safe, technologically advanced means of waste disposal that reduces greenhouse gases and generates clean energy,” the Speaker also said.

Under House Bill No. 7829, WTE facilities will be regulated to make sure they are fitted with equipment that will continuously monitor, record, and make publicly available the reported data on their emissions or air pollutant concentrations.

Entities using WTE technologies will be required to incorporate in their facilities or operations an appropriate materials recovery program, and their thermal units would only treat wastes at a temperature of not less than 850 degrees Celsius.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), meanwhile, will be mandated to promote the use of state-of-the-art, environmentally sound and safe technologies for the handling, treatment, thermal or non-thermal destruction, utilization, and disposal of residual wastes.


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