Davao City recipient of JICA biodiesel project

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 Oct) – The City Government of Davao is the country’s sole recipient of a biodiesel project from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that will convert used cooking oil to fuel, an official said on Monday.

Lawyer Tristan Dwight Domingo, assistant city administrator, said during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao that they are now in the stage of gathering data on the project’s viability, including the volume of used cooking oil that can be gathered from households and business establishments in the city.

After two meetings, representatives from JICA and its private partner, Biomass Japan, the manufacturer of the technology, are set to visit this city to meet with city officials on November 14 to validate the study and see if this biodiesel project can be sustained in the long run based on the volume of used cooking oil.

Representatives from the city also visited Japan where they learned how the conversion of used cooking oil to biodiesel was done and, at the same time, they were introduced to other waste-to-energy technologies.

Domingo said that the fuel generated from this technology is being used by some companies in Japan. For the Davao project, the biodiesel fuel output will be used initially to run the dump trucks of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) and other vehicles of the city government, he added.

“It was tested that the output can power the diesel engines,” Domingo said.

He said members of the CENRO would visit the business establishments here to gauge how much used oil they can collect.

“For now, we are making it voluntary (donation of oil),” he said.

If this project pushes through, Domingo said this will support the local government’s efforts towards environment conservation.

JICA reportedly chose Davao as a pilot area for this project because of its efficient enforcement of local legislation.

Domingo admits that the city lacks proper disposal of used cooking oil, which for now are either thrown to the sewers or drained in household sinks that clogs up the canals. Some of the food establishments here have reportedly contracted private companies to collect their used cooking oil, which will be disposed of at a proper area.

“It is a public interest to protect the environment,” he said. “With this project, we seized the good benefit. Other LGUs can also learn from us,” Domingo added.