The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has found a partner in the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) in the country’s all-out war against garbage problem.

“I see a bright light in this situation wherein DBP will really be a big help to the DENR when it comes to environmental issues,” said DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda in a virtual meeting with DBP officials on Friday (Feb. 5).

The DENR met with DBP in response to the latter’s interest for a collaboration given its previous engagements with the DENR on environmental protection.

"We are looking forward to a collaboration with the DENR because ever since DBP is very much involved into the different projects or thrust of the DENR," said Paul Lazaro, DBP Lending Program Management Group Head.

Lazaro added that the meeting will give the DBP “a better approach in terms of solid waste management.”

In the meeting, Antiporda proposed the private-public partnership (PPP) approach to address the lack of sanitary landfills (SLF) across the country.

"The establishment of 300 SLFs used to be an impossible dream. But with DBP, I know it will not be impossible anymore," Antiporda said.

Earlier that day, the DENR facilitated the creation of the SLF operators’ coalition aimed to expedite collaboration with the DENR and to identify strategic areas where they can operate.

“Now that the country’s solid waste management service providers are already organized as a coalition, they can strengthen their partnership for a better solid waste management in the country,” Antiporda said.

The DENR, he said, can link the local government unit (LGU) to the bank for the purchase of the land for the SLF site, and to the private sector who will construct the facility.

Elected members of the Executive Committee of the Coalition of Solid Waste Management Providers were: Atty. Senando Santiago, Integrated Solid Waste Management Inc.; Atty. Dwight Ramos, IPM Holding Inc.; Allen Macaraig, WasteCon Inc.; Engr. Arnold Espinoza, ARN CENTRAL Waste Management Incorporated.

Rene Santillan, Iwa Besu Corp.; Danilo Miranda, Pilotage Trading and Construction Inc.; Edwin Alea, Pyrotech Solution and Integrated Services Corp.; Engr. Chito Nombres, Phil Ecology Systems Corp.; and Victor Hontiveros, Metro Clark Waste Management.

On the other hand, Lazaro said the DBP can consider the PPP because it can finance both the local government and the private sector.

Meanwhile, DBP’s Program Development and Management Department Head Rustico Noli Cruz said the bank can provide financing solution to SLF operators through its Green Financing Program (GFP).

According to Cruz, the GFP is the bank’s umbrella program for all environmental and climate change projects, including solid and hazardous waste management, air and water pollution, resource conservation, and energy efficiency.

Antiporda also proposed possible assistance in the establishment of anaerobic digestion and composting facilities, and in the production of refuse derived fuel.

"DENR is solution-based. I think this meeting is the missing link. Every time I will come up with a project, I will always think that there is a DBP beside me. I am looking forward that we can have a very, very fruitful partnership when it comes to the environment," he said.

He further stated that the meeting was just an offshoot to the succeeding meetings and collaborations with DBP for the projects that will be developed. ###