The EcoWaste Coalition, an advocate of green jobs from clean recycling, pushes for expanded recycling programs to stimulate job creation amid threat of massive unemployment with the worsening global job crisis.
“Safe and non-toxic recycling of discards can stimulate green enterprises that can generate revenues and jobs for our communities,” Ofelia Panganiban of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Task Force on Eco-Livelihood said.
“Diverting funds from dirty disposal to clean recycling aside from creating jobs will also help in conserving resources and in reducing the climate impact of our wasteful lifestyle,” Panganiban added.
The EcoWaste Coalition found a strong ally in Caloocan Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez of the influential Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) who gave his support to the group’s push for clean recycling jobs.
“With declining employment and warming climate, clean recycling jobs offer real economic opportunities for our people,” Bishop Iñiguez, head of the CBCP Public Affairs Committee, said.
“I urge the authorities to look at the proven potentials of clean recycling in creating a wealth of jobs and in restoring the environment as we grapple with the mounting job woes,” Bishop Iñiguez.
The threat of nearly 500,000 Filipinos workers losing their jobs this year due to reduced economic growth prompted both the EcoWaste Coalition and Bishop Iñiguez to push for clean recycling jobs.
Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito Roque projected 200,000 job losses in six months, while Citigroup, a US financial services company, calculated that 470,000 Filipinos could lose their jobs this year.
In backing recycling jobs, the EcoWaste Coalition referred to a study made by the National Recycling Coalition for the US Environmental Protection Agency that illustrated the value of reuse and recycling to the US economy.
The “US Recycling Economic Information Study” showed that the country’s reuse and recycling industry employs as much as 1.1 million people and generates a whopping annual revenue of $236 billion.
The same study also documented that the reuse and recycling industry in US indirectly supported 1.4 million jobs in support industries such as accounting and office supply companies that have a payroll of $52 billion and sales amounting to $173 billion.
According to the EcoWaste Coalition, the country’s recycling rate remains low with the poor implementation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
“If the law’s requirements on waste segregation at source, recycling and recycling market development are truly enforced, we can expect more green jobs being created and more discards being diverted away from polluting dumps,” the EcoWaste Coalition stated.
The group cited the work of the Invisible Project in Pasay City, Kilus Foundation in Pasig City, Rags 2 Riches in Quezon City, Preda Foundation in Olongapo City, Earth Day Network in Antipolo City, and Buklod Tao in San Mateo Rizal as some of the many innovative people-driven eco-ventures providing income to community women who skillfully transform used juice packs, tarpaulin sheets, plastic bags and fabric scraps into creative functional goods like bags.
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