90 percent of Davao’s food business establishments not aware of proper disposal of used cooking oil

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 7 Jan) – At least 90 percent of the food business establishments in Davao City are not aware of the policy that prohibits the improper disposal of used cooking oil to the sewers, an official said Thursday.

Lawyer Tristan Dwight Domingo, assistant city administrator, was referring to Republic Act 6969, also known as “Toxic Substance and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990,” an act “to regulate, restrict or prohibit the importation, manufacture, processing, sale, distribution, use and disposal of chemical substances and mixtures that present unreasonable risk and/or injury to health or the environment; to prohibit the entry, even in transit, of hazardous and nuclear wastes and their disposal into the Philippine territorial limits for whatever purpose; and to provide advancement and facilitate research and studies on toxic chemicals.”

“We hope in the future that they will cooperate with us,” he said during the iSPeak forum at the City Hall on Thursday.

Used cooking oil is classified as hazardous, Domingo said.

The city was chosen by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to be the sole recipient of a P4-million worth technology that converts used cooking oil to biodiesel fuel.

Officials from the myClimate Japan and Biomass Japan Inc., the manufacturer of the technology, were in the city last November to discuss the project with local officials.

Domingo said they are yet to finalize the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with 13 barangays and 10 companies in the city who initially expressed the intent to participate in the testing if the city can gather sufficient oil to sustain this project in the long run.

He said they are hoping to gather 1,000 liters of used cooking oil on a daily basis, which can generate about 900 liters of biodiesel fuel that will be used to run the dump trucks of the City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) and other vehicles of the City Government.

The City Government issued Executive Order (EO) 32, or an order “instituting the proper storage, treatment, transport, export, processing, reprocessing, recycling and disposal of used cooking in Davao City,” last Dec. 15.

It stated that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has identified used cooking oil “hazardous waste” and thus “its storage, treatment, transport, export, processing, reprocessing, recycling and disposal are required to be covered or done with permits issued by the DENR.”

Under Sec. 1, the EO applies to all people, including households, vendors, private, commercial, or business establishments who should “comply with the requirements of RA 6969, DENR Administrative Order 2013-2014 and other applicable laws, rules regulations and issuances.”

The EO has also directed the City Government to collect used cooking oil generated within the city.

Under Sec. 14 of RA 6969, “the penalty of imprisonment of six (6) months and one day to six years and one day and a fine ranging from P600 to P4,000 shall be imposed upon any violators. If the offender is a foreigner, he or she shall be deported and barred from any subsequent entry into the Philippines after serving his or her sentence.”