PRESS | HEALTH GROUP TO CONGRESS: BLOCK THE RETURN OF INCINERATORS THAT HARM THE PUBLIC’S HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

HEALTH GROUP TO CONGRESS: BLOCK THE RETURN OF INCINERATORS THAT HARM THE PUBLIC’S HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

Quezon City, Philippines— Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Asia expresses disappointment in the proposed House Bill No. 2286 by Rep. Carlito Marquez of Aklan and the swift formation of the Technical Working Group after only two (2) Public Hearings that seek to repeal the incineration ban in the Philippines and amend the Philippine Clean Air Act or RA 9003 to pave the re-entry of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) incineration technologies in the country.

“The burning or incineration of bio-medical or infectious medical waste and plastics, produces, as by- products, among other emissions, highly toxic dioxins and furans that are powerfully carcinogenic. They are also known to lead to the impairment of the immune system, the impairment of the development of the nervous system, the endocrine system and the reproductive functions.” Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director of HCWH Asia explains.

Faye Ferrer, Global Green and Healthy Hospitals’ (GGHH) Coordinator for Asia added that, “As an organization that works directly with the health sector in order to protect the environment and people’s health, we are deeply concerned about the health and environmental hazards of bringing back incineration technologies, including waste-to-energy facilities.”

Health Care Without Harm with GGHH as one of its banner program, has seen health facilities successfully transition to safer alternative waste treatment and management systems without resorting to burning.

“Incineration may be cheap and convenient but the impact its emission makes are heavily inconvenient for human health and the environment.” Ferrer concludes.

It is ironic that even the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), despite of their mission to craft and implement policies that will protect the environment, is pushing for something that will go against the very fundamentals of the Clean Air Act of promoting a viable, clean and healthy air to breathe in.

“We see that this move will ultimately take a huge step backwards from securing the wellbeing of Filipinos and the environment.” concluded by San Pascual.

The DENR is presently citing the non-implementation of RA 9003 as the reason why incineration technologies are needed.

In this light, HCWH Asia conjoins with the recently launched network of anti-incineration organizations, called #NoBurnPilipinas together with EcoWaste, GAIA Asia Pacific, Mother Earth Foundation, Greenpeace Southeast Asia and other members of the #breakfreefromplastic network, in calling for the scrapping of HB 2286 and for the local governments to reject incineration proposals and carry out their duty to implement fully the RA 9003.###