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Protesters in Quezon City, resist planned incinerators despite national ban, Philippines

Environmental groups, waste pickers and residents protest as Quezon City's government is pursuing the construction of incinerators despite a national ban against incinerators and over the objections of local citizens.


The Philippines has a national ban on incineration, following the passage of two landmark laws: the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. But since 2012, the incineration ban has been under threat, as the House Bill 2286 in Congress is seeking to repeal the ban. Local government officials in Quezon City see the repeal of the ban as their chance to solve the city’s waste management issues while thousands of citizens, including waste pickers and national environmental justice organizations, take to the streets of Quezon City in protest, saying that the right of people to breathe clean air and to have a healthy environment would be violated if the ban is lifted. [1][2]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Protesters in Quezon City, resist planned incinerators despite national ban, Philippines
State or province:Manila
Location of conflict:Quezon City
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), Covanta Energy, and Macquarie Group Limited is granted original proponent status by the Quezon City government for its proposed P22-billion (429,944,277.00 USD) waste-to-energy project. The construction is to begin in 2019 and to be undertaken through a joint venture between the Quezon City government and the consortium, a so called Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The facility would be capable of processing and converting up to 3,000 metric tons per day of Quezon City’s municipal solid waste into 42 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy. [5][6]

Level of Investment for the conflictive project429,944,277.00
Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:01/03/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) from Philippines - As part of a consortium, MPIC has been contracted by the Quezon City government to perform the construction of an incinerator
Covanta Energy from United States of America
Macquarie Group from Australia
Relevant government actors:Quezon City government
International and Finance InstitutionsAsian Development Bank (ADB)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:No Burn Pilipinas:

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives:

Break Free From Plastic Movement:

Mother Earth Foundation:

EcoWaste Coalition:
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Wastepickers, recyclers
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Proposal and development of alternatives:The coalition of green organization are pushing for the strict implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management law of year 2000 (RA 9003) which reinforces the ban on incineration, decentralizes waste management from the city to the barangay (village), requires waste separation at source, and door-to-door collection, and the creation of materials recovery facility in every barangay for composting and storage of residuals and recyclables. [1]

According to Sonia Mendoza, Chairman of Mother Earth Foundation (MEF), “Implementing Zero Waste solutions is inexpensive and can be started immediately (…). We are calling on other LGUs [local government units] to reject all incineration and WtE proposals, and instead pursue the Zero Waste approach, starting with the strict implementation of RA 9003.” [2]

National Coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition, Aileen Lucero argue that: “The push to revoke the incineration ban will undermine source segregation, recycling and other Zero Waste strategies that conserve resources, avoid toxic pollution and generate livelihoods and jobs. Instead of overturning the prohibition on waste burning, Congress should, in fact, strengthen it by passing waste prevention and reduction measures complementing RA 9003 such as banning single-use plastic bags, disallowing recyclable and compostable materials in disposal facilities, curbing e-waste, and incentivizing innovations in waste management sector.” [2]
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The struggle has been ongoing since 2012, where the first suggestion to repeal the ban on incinerators was put forward. The incinerator has not yet been built, but its construction is planned and the project has been granted to a consortium.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Ecological Solid Waste Act 9003, 2001
[click to view]

Ecological Solid Waste Act 9003, 2000
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[13] GAIA Report, "ADB and Waste Incineration: Bankrolling Pollution, Blocking Solutions"
[click to view]

[1] Incineration not a solution, green groups warn Western brands found polluting in the Philippines
[click to view]

[2] Civil society coalition slams move to repeal incineration ban
[click to view]

[4] Global Alliance of Waste Pickers (Globalrec): Law report - Philippines
[click to view]

[8] No Burn Pilipinas against incinerator in Quezon City
[click to view]

[10] Ecocoalition - Quezon City profile
[click to view]

Ecocoalition - Quezon City profile
[click to view]

Civil society coalition slams move to repeal incineration ban
[click to view]

Global Alliance of Waste Pickers (Globalrec): Law report - Philippines
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice, Intern team 2019 (NC)
Last update30/05/2019
Conflict ID:4147
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