Environment-advocate groups yesterday urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to cancel an administrative order setting the guidelines for the establishment and operation of waste-to-energy (WtE) facilities.
The No Burn Pilipinas (NBP), EcoWaste Coalition and the Oceana Philippines made the call as they issued notice to sue to compel the DENR to rescind Department Administrative Order 2019-21 signed by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu or they will file charges against the department.
The environmentalists have dismissed the DAO as “a euphemism for incineration or burning of solid waste.”
The groups took turns in criticizing the WtE order and the gross inaction in phasing out non-environmentally acceptable products and packaging (NEAP) materials such as the ubiquitous single-use plastics (SUPs).
“By issuing the WtE guidelines, the DENR is reneging on its constitutional and legal mandate to uphold the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology being the primary agency tasked to enforce environmental laws, not violate them. In the last two decades, DENR has failed to ensure the full implementation of RA 9003 and RA 8749,” said NBP lead counsel Atty. Aaron Pedrosa.
NBP senior campaign manager Glenn Ymata, on the other hand, pointed out that the DENR continues to defy the laws that mandate them to protect Filipinos from environmental harm and danger by proposing and allowing waste incineration, a quick-fix false solution to the country’s waste problem.
Oceana Philippines vice president Atty. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos said it is high time the government exercised its powers and duties to untrash the oceans from millions of sachets, plastic bottles, straws and cutlery, and other SUPs thrown into it every second.
The government must stop and reduce the production of sources of plastics, Ramos added.