Davao City confident to sustain JICA project

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 Nov) – The City Government of Davao has a high possibility of sustaining the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded P4-million worth technology that converts used cooking oil to biodiesel fuel. The project is currently in the early stage of feasibility study.

The city is the first in the world to receive such technology, which addressed the problem of pollution in the canals of Japan caused by used cooking oil.

Speaking during the iSpeak Forum on Thursday, lawyer Tristan Dwight Domingo, assistant city administrator, said they have already tapped 13 barangays and 10 companies for the project’s early phase to check if they can gather enough used cooking oil to meet the requirement of this technology developed by Biomass Japan.

Domingo said they have yet to meet with representatives of myClimate Japan and Biomass Japan Inc., City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), partner barangays and participating companies on Saturday to finalize the schedule as to when they should commence the one-month survey to see if there is enough used cooking oil that can be collected all throughout the year.

He said they are setting the target at 1,000 liters on a daily basis, which can generate some 900 liters of biodiesel fuel based on the study conducted by Biomass Japan.

In a survey conducted last month, Domingo said they found out that a lot of the business establishments and households are illegally disposing of used cooking oil, which he said is dangerous to the environment since it has been classified as a toxic chemical.

“A lot of our restaurants are also illegally selling used cooking oil to some of our vendors. We are alarmed to hear this. It’s only the authorized entities with permits who can buy and dispose the used cooking oil,” he said.

Tomoko Dodo, Japanese consul to Davao, said that the city was chosen as a testing pad for this project because of the quality of life that is inclusive, sustainable, and dynamic.

“Davao has the capacity to do that. Davao is described as dynamic and yet very kind to the quality of life. It has quality human resources, so we think Davao is a good place to impelement this project,” she said.

She said Davao can be a model city for this project not only in the country but also in the world.

“The City Government of Davao is one of the most organized governments in the Philippines. Simple decision-making process and high transparency are the key factors to start the new business/projects,” she noted.

If feasible, Dodo added that they will proceed with the construction of the plant by April 2016 at the Motorpool in Maa, a property owned by the City Government.

“Japanese are very environment conscious people. We exercise it (proper oil disposal) because it’s gonna be good for yourself, not only for the society,” she said.

Asked how to encourage the people of Davao to properly dispose of their used cooking oil, she said: “Education plays a big role. Biggest challenge, is to collect enough cooking oil.”

Domingo added that the biodiesel fuel output will be used initially to run the dump trucks of the CENRO.

“This is the best project in the city that can help protect our enviromment. We try to intensify the dissemination of this project with the barangays and restaurants and hotels association,” he said.

In a separate survey conducted by myClimate analyst Shigeto Mizumoto, he found out that the daily consumption of the ambulant vendors who sell kwek-kwek, a popular street food made of boiled eggs coated with flour then deep-fried, is about two liters.

“But they dispose it either in the drainage or in the toilet,” he said.