CAVITE, Philippines. Concerned citizens of Trece Martires City flocked to the residence of re-electionist Mayor Melencio “Jun” de Sagun on 5 May 2007 to ask him to take firm action against a waste incineration facility that has been the subject of a long-standing complaint by anti-pollution groups in Cavite and Metro Manila.
Following a citizens’ forum at the Trece Martires City Elementary School that tackled the health and safety hazards of incinerating waste and of living next to an incinerator plant, the participants walked quietly under the scorching sun to meet the mayor.
Mayor de Sagun confirmed, to the relief of the residents, that his office has not renewed the incinerator company’s business permit. He expressed his interest to receive documents to guide him in making an informed decision that will put the drawn out issue to rest.
The forum jointly organized by the Cavite Green Coalition and the Ecology Ministry of St. Jude Parish gathered some 80 people, including mothers and their children who are considered most vulnerable to cancer-causing dioxins and other extremely harmful pollutants coming from the incineration process.
Speaking at the forum, visiting US activist Bradley Angel, who has over 20 years of experience in campaigning against health damaging waste facilities, scored high-temperature incinerators for making false claims that their technologies are proven to be safe and can get rid of waste without pollution. He referred to failed high-tech waste burners in Australia, Japan, Germany and the USA to back his criticism against what has been described as “incinerators in disguise.”
“Companies must be truthful, technologies must be safe, and communities need to be told the truth,” emphasized Angel, citing the findings of the joint study by Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice and theGlobal Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, which shows that the so-called “state-of-the-art” incinerators also produce the same types of pollutants as conventional waste burners.
“Our communities and the planet need safe, healthy and just solutions, not incinerators,” stated Angel.
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