, July 11 , 2004
President Arroyo switched on yesterday the one-megawatt Payatas Gas to Power Generation Project in Barangay Payatas, Quezon City that can supply electricity to some 2,000 households in the area over the next 10 years.

The ceremonial switch-on of the power project in Sitio Lupang Pangako was part of the fourth-year commemoration activities of the tragic garbage slide that killed 229 scavengers residing at the foot of the garbage mountain on July 10, 2000.

The President was assisted by Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, Environment Secretary Elisea Gozun and Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) president Thelmo Cunanan.

They later toured the power facility at the Quezon City dumpsite.

The power project that uses methane gas from trash is a joint undertaking spearheaded by the national government, through the PNOC, and the Quezon City government.

Before the ceremonial switch-on, the President arrived in Phase II, Lupang Pangako for the 7:30 a.m. field Mass officiated by Bishop Antonio Tobias of the Diocese of Novaliches and parish priest Fr. Aldrin Suan.

The President also witnessed the unveiling of the memorial marker by Belmonte and Soliman.

Among those present during the program were some 200 residents and barangay and city officials including Quezon City Rep. Annie Susano, Barangay Payatas chairwoman Rose Dadulo, and Delia Badion, the representative of the July 10 Payatas Victims Organization.

On the initiative of the President, other projects that made Payatas a self-sustaining community after the tragedy were the security of housing tenure under the Community Mortgage Program, access to basic services, scholarship grants to elementary and high school students, construction of access roads, credit cooperatives and livelihood programs under the President’s Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI) program.

In compliance with Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, the conversion of the Payatas dumpsite into a controlled waste disposal facility was started January this year to ensure the proper disposal of waste up to 2007.

In cooperation with the PNOC-EC in 2002, the city government conducted a methane gas exploration at the Payatas dumpsite, which yielded positive results. Now, the city government has developed the area as a potential source of energy.

Col. Jameel Jaymalin, head of the Payatas Operations Group, said the city government is now processing methane gas extracted from the dump to generate power for the more than 300 families living in nearby communities.

That is in consonance with the memorandum of agreement with the DENR allowing the conversion of the former open dump into controlled dump facility.

Jaymalin said the conversion and methane gas production at the Payatas controlled facility, as required by Republic Act 9003, or the Solid Waste Management Law, has prolonged the life of the dumpsite until 2007, its scheduled phase-out.

After the program, Belmonte led President Arroyo’s party in a guided tour to the Payatas controlled disposal facility, which was highlighted with the power on ceremony for the Payatas gas to power generation project being initiated by the city government, in cooperation with the PNOC-EC.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved