April 18, 2024

■  Harley F. Palangchao 

The needed documents and other requirements for the proposed elevated electric monorail project in Baguio worth $60 million and a waste-to-energy (WTE) project in Sablan, Benguet worth $55M are being prepared by its proponents.

Robert John Sobrepeña, chair and chief executive officer of Metro Global Holdings Corporation (MGHC), mother company of the project proponents, announced in Baguio that the two mega projects are expected to commence in two years once the company complies with the requirements.

Sobrepeña told reporters on March 20 the WTE project being planned in Sablan is capable of processing 500 metric tons solid waste daily from Baguio and other towns of Benguet.

Metro Global Renewable Energy Corporation, a subsidiary of MGHC, will implement the project.

Aside from converting the waste to refuse derived fuel, the project can also generate 10 megawatts which will be used to operate the proposed elevated electric monorail within the central business district of Baguio.

In January, the city government has signified its intent to supply with its waste the WTE facility in Sablan to be used as a feedstock.

This, as the General Services Office reported late last year the daily waste generation in Baguio has increased to 550 tons from 400T pre-pandemic and 320T during the pandemic.

The city government spends an average of P230M annually over the past years for the hauling of its waste to sanitary landfills outside Baguio. The amount includes tipping fees and fuel costs.

Metro Global legal counsel Federico Mandapat, Jr. told reporters concerned residents and the host barangay in Sablan did not object to the project that will be put up in a six-hectare property.

The municipal government also did not object after it was explained there will be no stockpiling of wastes in the area.

The city council also confirmed the memorandum of agreement signed by the city government and the MGREC for the city to supply and deliver solid waste to be used as feedstock to the WTE facility.

In Resolution 768, s. 2023, the council advised the parties to submit a supplement MOA incorporating the recommendations of the members which will be submitted for another confirmation.

Meanwhile, the proposed elevated monorail spanning 4.8 kilometers worth $60M will be implemented by Metro Renewable Transport Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of MGHC.

The project will include an electric monorail system and electric buses that will provide transport services from the central terminal to secondary routes.

The project, capable of transporting thousands of commuters daily throughout the CBD, will employ 300 electric buses to service transport routes in high-density residential areas and connect to the CBD monorail.

The proponent has submitted the unsolicited proposal to the city on Feb. 17, 2021 and received advise from the City Mayor’s Office on Oct. 29, 2021 that the proposal is being evaluated and reviewed by the city council.

The proponent was also authorized by the city government to conduct a pre-feasibility study.