FPIC needed for Sablan WTE project

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SABLAN, Benguet– The municipal government underscored that the proposed multi-billion waste to energy project in the municipality will have to pass through the required free and prior informed consent (FPIC) process pursuant to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) since the locality is an ancestral domain of indigenous peoples (IPs).

Vice Mayor Arthur Baldo stated that municipal officials made their point clear to the proponent of the renewable energy project, Metro Global Renewable Corporation, that the environmentally critical endeavor must pass through the prescribed processes ranging from the acceptance of the community up to the compliance to the requirements of concerned government agencies and the local government even if the facility will be established within a private property.

While it is true that the property owner is closely working with the developer for the realization of the project, he disclosed that the issue on the 72 families that constructed their houses within the project site remains to be given appropriate attention.

Vice Mayor Baldo claimed that it is too early to predict that the proposed waste to energy project will push through because the developer has yet to formally file its application with the concerned government agencies and the local government on how to proceed in complying with the requirements of the project.

Earlier, the municipal council conducted a public consultation on the proposed waste to energy project last July 14, 2021 where it was uncovered that there are still numerous issues and concerns confronting the realization of the same.

According to him, municipal officials simply sent the clear message to the project proponent that there are prescribed processes by concerned government agencies and the local government on how to proceed with the project which must be complied and that failure to do so will surely result to the non-implementation of the plan as earlier presented.

Metro Global Renewable Corporation plans to put up a P5 billion waste to energy project within a private property in barangay Palali that will produce at least 10 megawatts of renewable power that will be infused to the Luzon grid to help in stabilizing the country’s energy supply and provide additional sources of renewable power.

The plant is expected to convert at least 500 tons of mixed waste from the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) to clean energy.

Previously, the municipal council passed a resolution that declared that the proponent has not yet filed its formal application with the municipal government on its planned put up of a waste to energy plant in the municipality to allay the fears of concerned residents and sectors that there was already a go-signal that was given by the local government for the company to push through with the project despite the lack of consultations with the indigenous peoples who were able to establish ownership of the ancestral domain.

The proposed waste to energy plant is expected to address the garbage woes of all BLISTT local governments that continue to haul out their residual waste to the existing engineered sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac due to the absence of their own disposal facility. That is compliant to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. By HENT

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