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Environmentalists push for boycott of candidates who back incinerator

No Burn Pilipinas, a coalition of civil society organizations and communities against incineration, urged the public to boycott candidates who support waste-to-energy (WTE) projects.

“No Burn Pilipinas is launching a national campaign today with our electoral poster campaign against candidates who are in favor of waste incineration,” Lorenzo de Vera of the No Burn Pilipinas told reporters in a press briefing Saturday at the Royal Mandaya Hotel.

Other than Davao, cities like Cavite, Quezon City, Cebu City, and Lapu-Lapu joined the synchronized launch as a call against local and national politicians supporting WTE incineration projects.

“The recent news is, according to Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag, the waste incineration facility construction will push through,” de Vera said.

According to de Vera, the effects of toxins emitted from the byproducts of burnt wastes are not just detrimental to the environment but to human health as well.

“We are even against the construction of coal-fired power plants because of its detrimental effects. How much more would it be with the burning of garbage?” he said.

The campaign calls on the voters not to elect candidates who support WTE because it is illegal according to the Philippine Clean Air Act or Republic Act 8749.

De Vera slammed the statement of the vice mayor that putting up the waste incineration facility is not against the law.

“It is completely illegal. There is an explicit ban on incineration as a way to process waste,” he said.

“In fact, they cannot put up that plant legally and they are hoping to amend the law. We, the No Burn Pilipinas, are recently in the Senate before the closing of their session to monitor the committee of Senator Cynthia Villar if there are urgent amendments on the Clean Air Act and Ecological Solid Waste Management Act,” he added.

De Vera also said that even with the signing of the memorandum of agreement between the city government and the Department of Finance on the grant of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) of 5.13 billion Japanese yen, or P2.38B, they are still hoping that the government will heed their call.

“Just because the money is there doesn’t mean they really have to push for its construction, especially that the health of so many people and the environment are on the line,” he said.

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