The new batch of Barangay and SK leaders of the country’s 42,025 barangays will assume their three-year term of office by noon of November 30.
“Environmentally-conscious Barangay and SK leaders offer a beacon of hope to our ailing Mother Earth,” said Eileen Sison , NGO Representative to the National Solid Waste Management Commission.
“They can spur a truly grassroots movement for ecological renewal involving the local households, institutions and enterprises, including the informal sector,” stated Sison.
“Trash and litter, the most obvious evidence of community negligence and decay, should be a top priority for our soon to be installed leaders,” Sison suggested, stressing that a people-backed Zero Waste program is urgently needed to deal with the pervasive garbage threat that is also affecting the climate.
A successful barangay-centered program on Zero Waste, according to the EcoWaste Coalition, will rely hugely on a dedicated team who will initiate, organize and monitor creative citizens’ education and mobilization for sustained waste prevention, reduction, segregation at source, recycling and composting efforts, including resource recovery involving the informal recyclers.
As directed by Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, each barangay should constitute a Barangay Solid Waste Management (SWM) Board whose functions include the formulation of SWM plan and the establishment of materials recovery facility to replace polluting dumps.
“To start with, the new Barangay SWM should initiate honest-to-goodness review of how RA 9003 is currently enforced in the community, not to find faults, but to determine specific remedies or components for improvement,” stated Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition.
Headed by the Barangay Chair, the Barangay SWM Board also includes one Barangay Kagawad, the SK Chair and the presidents, principals or representatives of the public/private schools, Parents and Teachers Associations, Home Owners Associations, Market Vendors Associations, Junkshop Owners Associations and transportation, environmental and religious groups operating in the community.
As regards the SK, the EcoWaste Coalition dared the youth leaders to really make a difference this time and carry out concrete activities that will empower and benefit the youth and the community.
“We know that not a few influential people have sought the abolition of the SK claiming that the youth councils have become a breeding ground for corruption at young age,” noted Alvarez.
“Our SK leaders can prove their critiques wrong by embarking on enduring activities, not ningas cogon (grassfire) and publicity stunts, that will enhance youth involvement in environmental and other community concerns,” he added.
“Being a member of the Barangay SWM, the SK Chair can be a driving force in raising environmental awareness and responsibility among children and youth, particularly in cutting their waste size,”Alvarez pointed out
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines