By By Fernan A. Gianan
The Waste-to-Energy deal for Catanduanes
posted 1-Oct-2019  ·  
657 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

If one passes by the length of the completed portion of the boulevard in Virac, he will come by several workers chipping concrete off the finished sidewalk at the seaside portion.

It was recently brought to the attention of the DPWH regional office, which designed and implemented the project, that the entire length of the project did not have a single access ramp for People With Disabilities (PWDs).

Now, there’s one just meters away from the breakwater but it consists merely of an inclined ramp cut right out of the finished sidewalk, with the ramp facing the boulevard.

This is not proper, if the pertinent provisions of the National Building Code and Batas Pambansa 344 are to be followed.

What these two laws state is that accessible ramps for PWDs should be installed at the sidewalk at every pedestrian crossing. The ramps, which should be at least a meter wide, should have a slope of 1:12 and provided with adequate handrails.

The curb ramp should be parallel to the road itself, not open to the road as it would expose PWDs to danger, and connects to a dropped section of the sidewalk.

Concerned agencies and PWD groups should call the attention of the DPWH-5 officials to this matter.

*****

Catanduanes recently made the news with the signing of a deal with a Singapore technology group for the establishment of a waste-to-energy plant.

The articles stated that provincial officials, joined by Rep. Hector Sanchez, signed a memorandum of understanding with green energy specialist Opus Energy Solutions Inc. together with Singapore Management Consultancy.

But the photo handout showed only the congressman and one provincial official, PBM Arnel Turado, with the acting governor nowhere among the group.

The president-CEO of Opus Energy, Rafael Javier Eubra, claims that one of its designs had been endorsed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and has a buyback agreement with National Power Corporation (Napocor).

The process includes the recovery of solid wastes and transform it into useful energy in the most efficient, safest, and commercially viable way possible in an environment-friendly facility, he claimed in the article.

Questions will inevitably be raised regarding the deal. Why did the congressman, and not the acting governor, sign on behalf of the province? Did the matter even underwent deliberation at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan? Was there a public hearing on the issue, since the project would need the participation of the municipalities who would supply the solid waste? Did the proponents consider the possibility that the renewable energy project would run afoul of the remaining private power supplier’s contracts with the local electric cooperative? And was even FICELCO or the other players in the local power industry consulted on the matter?

Concerns are also bound to be raised over the project since different environment groups believe incinerators masquerading as waste-to-energy plants are false and expensive solutions to the garbage problem.

    More on this next week, particularly on whether this technology is appropriate for this island we still consider a paradise compared to Metro Manila and other places.

*****

THE PARROT. A guy walks into a pet shop wanting to buy a parrot. The owner shows him a parrot that has beautiful feathers, speaks English and costs $1,000. He shows him another one with even more beautiful feathers that speaks English, French and Italian, and it can use a computer. It costs $3,000. Then the guy sees a parrot in a cage in a corner of the shop. It’s rather small and has only grey feathers. “How much for this one?”

    “$5,000.” replies the owner.

    “$5,000!” the guy exclaims. “Does it speak foreign languages?”

    “No.”

    “Does it have any skills?”

    “Not that I know of,” the owner says. “It just sits there all day.”

    “Then why is it $5,000?”

    “The other two calls it Boss.”


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