WTE or WOE? An Academic Forum on Solutions to the Philippine Waste Problem
Amendments to Philippine Clean Air Act are under deliberation in Congress. A huge percentage of Congressmen wants it repealed to re-allow waste incineration in the country and once and for all remove the national ban. To date, the Philippines is the only country in the world that has a ban on incineration. This move is faced with both opposition and agreement.
GAIA Asia Pacific, as the only alliance working against incineration in the world, deemed it necessary to engage the academe in the discussion. While some universities have expressed support for the bill, some have yet to find their position.
The Academic Forum co-organized with the University of Santo Tomas, UST – Research Center for Social Sciences and Education (RCSSEd), and the University of the Philippines (UP) Environmental Engineering Program served as a venue to bring the issue to the radar of the academic sphere.
At the end of the forum and the round table discussion, a consensus statement titled, Our country needs ecological and sustainable waste management system: Philippine academic community consensus statement was drafted. The statement will be circulated to different academic institutions for their endorsement and support. Attended by the academe, NGOs, and industry players, the forum opened the door for further discussion and engagement on policies affecting the country’s solid waste management system and technologies.
Speakers were Dr. Jorge Emmanuel, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences, Siliman University, Dr. Paul Connett, Professor Emeritus, St. Lawrence University (USA), and Sonia Mendoza, Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) Chairman. Representatives from the Solid Waste Management Division of the Philippine Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources and the Dept. of Science and Technology failed to join the forum.
Panelists included Ms. Brida Lea Diola, Institute of Civil Engineering and UP Environmental Engineering Graduate Program Assistant Professor, Eric Buado, Miriam College – Environmental Studies Institute Program Assistant, Dr. Alvin Caparanga, Mapua University – School of Chemical, Biological, Materials Engineering and Sciences Dean, Dr. Lawrence Belo, De La Salle State University – Dept of Chemical Engineering Faculty, Cesar Gomez, Management Association of the Philippines (Agriculture section) Vice President, and Atty. Gloria Ramos, Oceana Philippines Vice President.
(Photos by Paeng Lopez/HCWH-Asia and Rap Villavicencio/Mother Earth Foundation)
PROGRAM: WTE or WOE?: An Academic Forum on Solutions to the Philippine Waste Problem; January 20, 2020, 8 AM to 12 Noon (Forum) / 1 to 3 PM (Round Table Discussion),Chairman George S.K. Ty Function Hall, 4th Floor, Blessed Buenaventura G. Paredes O.P. Building, Ceferino Gonzales Drive, University of Santo Tomas (near P. Noval Gate), Manila
Welcome Remarks: Dr. Maribel G. Nonato, PhD, Vice Rector,Office of the Vice Rector for Research and Innovation, UST
Welcome Remarks: Dr. Maria Antonia Tanchuling, Director, Institute of Civil Engineering and Faculty, UP Environmental Engineering Graduate Program
Overview and Mechanics of the Forum: Froilan Grate, Regional Coordinator, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) Asia Pacific
WTE and its environment, health, and economic impacts, Dr. Jorge Emmanuel, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences, Siliman University
WTE or Zero Waste approach, Dr. Paul Connett, Professor Emeritus, St. Lawrence University (USA)
Zero Waste in the local context, Sonia Mendoza, Chairman, Mother Earth Foundation
Panel of Reactors:
- Asst. Professor Ma. Brida Lea Diola, Assistant Professor, Institute of Civil Engineering and UP Environmental Engineering Graduate Program
- Eric Buado, Program Assistant, Miriam College – Environmental Studies Institute
- Dr. Alvin Caparanga, Dean, Mapua University – School of Chemical, Biological, Materials Engineering and Sciences
- Dr. Lawrence Belo, Faculty, De La Salle State University – Dept of Chemical Engineering
- Cesar Gomez, Vice President, Management Association of the Philippines (Agriculture section)
- Atty. Gloria Ramos, Vice President, Oceana Philippines
Question and Answer
Round table discussion
Presentation of Consensus Statement
Emcee: Asst. Prof Katrina Ninfa M. Topacio, RIG Lead, Language Studies, Research Center for Social Sciences and Education, University of Santo Tomas and Paeng Lopez, Healthy Energy Initiative Campaigner, Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) – Asia