Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, also chair of the Senate Energy Committee,cited the importance of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in bridging gaps to solve energy and solid waste challenges in our country.
In his keynote address during the forum on Renewable Energy and Waste-to-Energy he also said that the transition to a sustainable future will not happen if we don't allow newer mechanisms for renewable energy to penetrate the grid.
It was suggested during the event that the national government should help facilitate the collaboration between the private sector and local government units, making it easier for them to collaborate on renewable energy and waste-to-energy development projects.
"Everyone has a responsibility in waste collection. We should give the national government the power to look into waste-to-energy and mandate the LGUs in bringing their garbage to proper disposal facilities especially that waste collection and disposal lies in the hands of the local government units." Gatchalian said.
According to DENR, there are only 164 accredited sanitary landfills and around 404 illegal dumpsites across the country, which shows the need to address the increasing volume of solid waste and give special attention on how renewable energy and waste-to-energy projects will be implemented.
"The philosophy of waste-to-energy should be with the waste management agenda of the LGUs. So what we propose is a law, which encourages LGUs to look into PPPs and Joint Ventures other than simply bringing waste [to landfills] so that they can enter into waste-to-energy projects more economically." Gatchalian added.
Meanwhile, PPP Undersecretary Ferdinand Pecson said government and the private sector should be working together in formulating strategies and developing a comprehensive approach through PPPs particularly on the joint venture arrangements saying that the Philippine government's policies on renewable energy and waste-to-energy public-private partnerships must be engaged in a discussion gearing towards understanding how to resolve these challenges.
At the same time, NEDA Secretary Ernesto said PPP can further expand their role particularly in developing innovative solutions in implementing renewable energy and waste-to-energy components in infrastructure and development projects adding that the government has institutionalize policies and programs that can help spur the utilization of renewable energy.
"While we must meet the power demand to sustain the economic growth, we must also find a way to grow without compromising the environment and ready our natural resources." Pernia said.
The Renewable Energy and Waste-to-Energy Forum was organized by Public-Private Partnership Center and Asian Development Bank was held at the New World Hotel in Makati City on Aug. 30.
It was also attended by Asian Development Bank Vice-President for Operations Mr. Ahmed M. Saeed, local and international experts in renewable energy, and various representatives from the public and private sectors. (PIA InfoComm)