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Environmental Groups Call for Full Implementation of Waste Law at the Launch of “Zero Waste Month”

Manila. At the launch of the first “Zero Waste Month” during the
“Zero Waste Youth Convergence 2015” held today at the Philippine Normal University,
Sen. Loren Legarda joined several environmental groups led by the Mother Earth
Foundation in calling on the government for an expedited enforcement and full
implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003) amidst increasing
garbage problems and emerging quick fix solutions concealed as “green”
technologies in the country.
Holding a banner that read “Go
for Zero Waste: Burn Not, Trash Not Our Future,” Legarda was joined by more
than 400 youth students from different universities and colleges all over the
country, as well as environmental groups EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance
for Incinerator Alternatives, Health Care Without Harm, and Mother Earth
Foundation.
“We have some of the most
beautiful environmental laws in the world. Republic Act 9003 was well thought
of and was debated exhaustively when it was passed in 2001. We should try to
implement it first before we try any of these alternative technologies like
incineration that will only endanger the health of our people and our planet,” said
Senator Loren Legarda during a Hearing of Joint Oversight Committee on RA 9003.
“As long as I am the
Environment Committee Chairman, any law that allow incineration will not pass
in the Senate,” the senator added.
President Benigno S. Aquino
III on May last year signed Proclamation No. 760, declaring every January as
“Zero Waste Month.”

The Proclamation states that, “zero waste is a goal that is ethical,
economical, efficient and visionary to guide people in changing their
lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all
discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.”

It added that “zero waste is an advocacy that promotes designing and managing
products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and
toxicity of waste and materials, and to conserve and recover all resources, and
not indiscriminately dispose or burn them.”
The government must see to it
that low cost, ecological and sustainable non-burn technologies are supported
and that the incineration ban under the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act
(RA 9003) and the Clean Air Act (RA 8749) is upheld.
These laws are now being
threatened by regressive legislative bills currently filed in both the Senate
and House of Representatives seeking to allow the use of incinerators to burn
municipal, bio-medical and hazardous wastes, including the recently passed
House Resolution No. 21, which, upon its effectivity, will suspend the
operability of the Clean Air Act as the President will be given emergency
powers to address the projected electricity shortage in the Luzon Grid.
“This yearly observance would
be meaningless unless the main government agencies assigned to implement and
enforce the law perform their mandated tasks faithfully. It is important that
the youth join other sectors in holding these agencies accountable,” said Von Hernandez,
President, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Our vision of a zero waste
society is possible, but without political will at the national and local
levels, this will become another empty government slogan,” he added.
This month also marks the 14th
year since RA 9003 was signed into law by then President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo in 2001.
RA 9003 provides for a
comprehensive and ecological approach to managing garbage mainly through waste
prevention, reduction, segregation at source, reuse, recycling and composting,
excluding waste incineration.
It specifically requires the
country’s over 42,000 barangays to develop ecological solid waste
management programs, encourage waste separation at source, enforce a segregated
collection for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, and establish
Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in every barangay or cluster of barangays.
According to Froilan Grate,
President, Mother Earth Foundation, “many communities are reaping health and
economic benefits from successfully implementing RA 9003,” citing various Zero
Waste Community models in San Fernando, Pampanga; Alaminos, Pangasinan; Nueva
Vizcaya; Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City; and Malabon City that are currently
incorporating Zero Waste schemes in their localities.
“It takes political will to
fully implement the fourteen-year law in order to realize sustainable, long-term
benefits and gross incompetence to settle for other hastily contrived
alternatives that offer temporary solutions to our waste problems, which may
even lead to catastrophic situations in the future,” he added.
-end-
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6 Comments

  • Let's unite gor for the “Zero Waste Youth Convergence 2015” sama na tungo sa ikagiginhawa ng bansa. Mainam na ito ang pagtuunan ng pansin.

  • According to the studies we have the most beautiful environmental laws in the world. Pwede naman sana natin itong pangatawanan kung magkaisa ang lahat sa iisang adhikain.

  • I think, if the government pursue this law in every month there will be no environment problems and lessen the numbers of disease. What do you think?

  • I think, if the government pursue this law in every month there will be no environment problems and lessen the numbers of disease. What do you think?

  • Let us be futuristic in our plans because preventions better than cure as the saying goes. Better do it today than later!

  • Go for the greenier living, stop burning garbage and don't trash our future for the next genrations sake. Think it over before you trash.