Inauguration of the Central Materials Recovery Facility in General Santos City

Magandang Gensan! It was an auspicious day during the inauguration of the Central Material Recovery Facility (CMRF) in General Santos City on the 19th of February 2019. The inauguration unveiled the Central Material Recovery Facility which is the centerpiece of the Component 3 of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) called “Demonstration of Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP) in Open Burning Activities in Response to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)”. The inauguration is not only to introduce the brand new CMRF but it is also aimed to improve the understanding of the health risks due to POPs as well as demonstrate available BATs and BEPs.

General Santos City is a pilot city for this project which is located in Brgy. Sinawal. The CMRF, whose maximum throughput is 40 TPD, will segregate wastes into useful components leaving only residual wastes for landfilling. The CMRF is a BAT aimed to stem open dumping and open burning which releases toxic POPs into the environment. The project itself is viewed as a project that can catalyze change in the way waste is treated and the behaviors toward solid waste management in General Santos City, putting wastes into good use rather than indiscriminate disposal or burning. City workers and other stakeholders alike shared their hopes, gratitude and delight over the inauguration of the CMRF. Being the largest mechanized waste segregation in the country, the CMRF at Brgy. Sinawal has become a model and beacon which has received many visitors from different LGUs and government agencies hoping to replicate the success in General Santos City.

Nearly three hundred people attended the inauguration and were mostly environmental monitoring officers of General Santos, representatives from the various offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd) and guest from other local government units (LGUs).

Hon. Ronnel C. Rivera, the City Mayor of General Santos City, gave the welcoming remarks and expressed his pride and gratitude for the project and towards UNIDO, GEF and the local partners. Dr. Carmela Centeno the ESEA Regional Project Manager in the Stockholm Convention Unit, Hon. Elisabeth B. Bagonoc the City Councilor and Committee Chair of Environment and Climate Change of General Santos City, Engr. Alex D. Jimenez the OIC Regional Director of EMB Region 12, Lourdes C. Wagan the OIC-Director of Foreign Assisted and Special Projects Service DENR, Engr. Bernabe Archeta the Owner of Markell Machineries, Mr. Nilo B. Tamoria the Regional Executive Director of DENR Region 12. The keynote speech was given by Mr. Jim Sampulna the Assistant Secretary Field Operations Western Mindanao of the DENR.