By Jose Santino Bunachita
PIO Reporter

CEBU CITY (August 4, 2022) — Mayor Mike Rama wants to expand the city’s points of partnership and collaboration with the City of Yokohama in Japan.

Among others, he is interested in septage management as well as plastic waste processing.

He made these known after a delegation from Yokohama City visited City Hall this afternoon. They were accepted by Councilors Donaldo “Dondon” Hontiveros and James Anthony Cuenco.

Shunsuke Hieda. (PIO/Marc Cosep)

Mayor Rama, who is currently on home quarantine, and Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, who is in Korea, joined the courtesy call via Zoom.

The delegation was headed by Shunsuke Hieda, team leader of the Yokohama Partnership of Resources and Technologies (Y-PORT) Expert Team.

Yokohama Mayor Takeharu Yamanaka sent a letter addressed to Mayor Rama, congratulating him on his election and seeking improved ties with Cebu City.

“Since our MOU on our technical understanding, we have developed strong friendship while working together on areas such as urban development, transportation, and waste disposal,” Yamanaka said in his letter, which was read by a representative.

Part of the group was Takeshi Konishi, senior managing director and general manager of GUUN Co., Ltd, which is currently operating a plastic recycling facility located in Consolacion town.

Since our MOU on our technical understanding, we have developed strong friendship while working together on areas such as urban development, transportation, and waste disposal

Yokohama Mayor Takeharu Yamanaka

The facility currently accepts plastic wastes for a tipping fee of P850 per ton. Plastic wastes are processed and converted into fluff fuel which is sold to cement companies for their operations.

According to Konishi, there is actually an increasing demand for fluff fuel. This is why they are also looking to expand their current facility.

Mayor Mike Rama (seated, 3rd from left) signs on behalf of the city the deed of grant of usufructuary rights for the city’s septage treatment plant last February 23. Then Consul General of Japan to Cebu Kawasaki Toshihide (eft), and (seated, left to right) JICA Chief Representative Mr. Azukizawa Eigo, MCWD Acting General Manager Stephen Yee, and MCWD Board of Directors Vice Chairman Frank Malilong also signed the document. (PIO/File)

Mayor Rama said he is interested with this facility, especially since this started as a pilot project at the Inayawan Landfill in Cebu City in 2013.

The mayor said he wants to pursue talks to expand the facility in a location in Cebu City and that he is willing to help them look for a property for such purpose.

Konishi said they are looking at establishing a similar facility in Cebu City that can process around 100 tons of plastic waste per day. To do so, they will need a one-hectare property.

“I’ve been telling all the time tha tI am very proud about the continuing relationship of Yokohama and Cebu City, because such relationship emanated way back when I was the mayor,” Mayor Rama said.

Mayor Mike Rama welcomes the City of Yokohama delegation via Zoom. He thanked the group for visiting Cebu and expressed hope to expand the partnership between the two cities. (PIO/Marc Cosep)

The Japanese Government, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, is also pursuing a bigger Septage Treatment Plant (STP) for Cebu.

The project is a grant that is given through the Metropolitan Cebu Water District.

According to Hieda, they target to finish the STP by 2025. It is expected to process 400 cubic meters of septic wastes per day.

The facility will be accepting septic wastes from the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Talisay, as well as the towns of Compostela, Liloan, and Consolacion. #

Read related story: City, MCWD ink pact for better septage treatment plant