Quezon City. This is one very important question that P-Noy failed to answer at his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), environmental advocates said.
“While we share and support P-Noy’s drive for a clean government, we could not help but wonder if environmental protection is in any way central to his crusade for change,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.
“We find his SONA ignoring the most basic environmental challenges facing our nation, especially the poor and most vulnerable communities. Honestly speaking, we were dismayed by the lack of focus on environment as if Mother Nature does not matter,” he added.
“We were hoping, for instance, that P-Noy would at least present his plan of action to address the water crisis and announce an ambitious plan to save the Sierra Madre and other watershed and biodiversity areas from logging, mining and dumping activities on top of implementing rainwater impounding systems for farmers and communities,” he explained.
Aside from the water problem, the EcoWaste Coalition enumerated other fundamental environmental issues that P-Noy should have tackled in his report before the joint session of the 15th Congress: climate change, forest and biodiversity demolition, marine pollution, toxic chemicals, municipal solid waste and hazardous waste, to cite a few.
“If P-Noy fails to prioritize environmental protection, he will continue the mistakes of the past regime and allow the relentless destruction of the country’s remaining forests and ecosystems, proliferation of more dirty technologies and the ensuing pollution of air, land and water bodies,” said Rei Panaligan, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
The EcoWaste Coalition had earlier proposed to P-Noy to prioritize in his first 100 days in office several interventions in the field of Zero Waste and chemical safety.
This will include the implementation of ecological solid waste management, the recognition of the informal waste sector in resource recovery and conservation , the ban on plastic bags, the elimination of lead in paint, the adoption of pollution prevention and control measures against mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other toxic substances, the ban on aerial spraying of chemicals in agriculture, and the adoption of genuine climate-friendly adaptation and mitigation strategies, including “Zero Waste for Zero Warming.”