The World Bank (WB) has chosen Iloilo City to be the home of a new global environment facility (GEF) project and will provide technical and financial assistance to the city worth more than P14 million through an Integrated Persistent Organic Pollutants (IPOPs) management project.
Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog was recently authorized by the city council to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon JP Paje for a three-year project that will also be implemented in four other Philippine cities.
The WB project was coursed through the National Solid Waste Management Council (NSWMC) spearheaded by the DENR with an aim to reduce the releases of unintentional persistent organic pollutants in the air, specifically dioxins and furans through the burning of agricultural wastes and improper solid wastes disposal.
Engr. Raul Gallo, chief of office of personal services (OPS), said the WB assistance would require the drafting of a city IPOPs action plan to reduce and prevent burning at the backyards and dumpsite.
Gallo stressed that the latest WB assisted IPOPs project is a separate one from the conversion and upgrading of the open dumpsite in Calajunan into a sanitary landfill which was also assisted by WB.
On the other hand, the Sangguniang Panlungsod will enact required ordinances and resolutions for the appropriation of its in-kind and cash counterparts as well as the grant proceeds from the GEF-WB IPOPs project. The project will also cover capability building and public awareness programs by complementing the projects implemented at the Calajunan dumpsite.
Both the World Bank and DENR saw Iloilo City compliance to the provisions of Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological and Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 by declaring a policy of the state to adopt a systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program which shall ensure the protection of public health and the environment.