Senator Win Gatchalian expresses support for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) move in advancing the promotion and enhancement of the development of Waste-To-Energy (WTE) facilities in the country.
The latest DOE Circular is consistent with Gatchalian’s proposed Waste-To-Energy Act (Senate Bill No. 1789) which primarily seeks to establish a regulatory framework for facilities utilizing WTE technologies for proper waste management.
With clear backing from the government, Gatchalian said the adoption of WTE technology is a means to address garbage disposal and as another kind of renewable energy (RE) source in the country which is seen to gain traction and attract investor interest to put up facilities in the country. The perennial garbage crisis has now been aggravated by the accumulation of medical wastes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The development of WTE technology should send a signal to local government units to begin entertaining investors and explore the feasibility of having WTE facilities in their localities,” said Gatchalian.
“As we, in Congress, work on the crafting of legislation that will lay down the national regulatory framework for facilities utilizing WTE technologies to ensure strict safeguards for public health and environment and unnecessary power rate increases for consumers, the LGUs are given more confidence to explore possible public-private partnerships and other allowed contractual arrangements with potential WTE investors this early,” he added.
The Senate Energy Committee Chairperson pointed out that the construction of WTE plants would not only minimize the alarming volume of residual waste piling up in landfills and illegal dumps across the country but also contribute to energy security through WTE power plants.
The senator explained that the WTE project will be at no cost to the government because it will be the project proponent, and not the LGUs, who will shoulder the expenses in the construction and operation of the facility.
“Hopefully this will help attract more WTE investors which have been deterred by the government’s lack of clarity on WTE policies despite the existence of RA 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 which recognizes the concept of WTE and its adoption,” Gatchalian said.