Watchdog Proposes Action Agenda on Wastes and Toxics for Duterte’s First 100 Days in Office

IDIS representatives submit “Sustainable Davao City Movement’s 8-Point Environmental Agenda” and the EcoWaste Coalition’s “13-Point Agenda on Wastes and Toxics” to Mr. Peter Tiu Laviña, spokesperson and member of the Duterte Transition Committee

The EcoWaste Coalition, an
environmental organization working towards a zero waste and toxic-free Philippines, has propounded the following 13-point action plan to ease the
country’s uphill battle against wastes and toxics under the administration of
presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte. The EcoWaste Coalition through its Davao City-based affiliate Interface for
Development Interventions (IDIS) will submit today its proposed “Action
Agenda on Wastes and Toxics” to Peter Tiu Laviña, spokesperson and member of the Duterte
Transition Committee.

1.  Appoint a genuine pro-environment and pro-people Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary with an exemplary track
record in environmental protection. 
2.  Announce the government’s program to determinedly combat waste and
pollution through Zero Waste strategies and practices sans incineration at his
first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

3. Convene and chair the first meeting of the National Solid Waste Management
Commission (NSWMC) and set a comprehensive Zero Waste agenda to reduce the
volume and toxicity of the country’s waste. 

4.  Instruct the DENR  Secretary to take full leadership and
responsibility in ensuring that the Zero Waste agenda is put into operation by
the entire government machinery. 

5.  Order a participatory review and analysis of where the public
funds for managing wastes go and recommend priority use of taxpayers’ money to
support and advance the Zero Waste agenda. 

6.  Ensure the proper release and use of the allocated budget from the
General Appropriations Act of 2016 for capacity building programs towards the
effective implementation of Republic Act  9003, the Ecological Solid Waste
Management Act.

7.  Make the NSWMC and all its members accountable for the performance of
their responsibilities towards the effective enforcement of R.A. 9003,
including providing quarterly submission of accomplishment reports that should
be publicly available.

8.  Stop all undertakings that are in breach of the incineration ban under
R.A. 8749 and R.A. 9003, including the ongoing formulation of “waste-to-energy”
guidelines by the NSWMC.  

9.   Suspend  the development and implementation of
 proposed coal power plants in the pipeline and so-called waste-to-energy
facilities. Instead, prioritize the development and mainstreaming of
 clean and renewable energy projects to meet the country’s projected
energy requirements.

10.  Order the NSWMC to fast track the implementation of the “National
Framework and Strategy on the Role of the Informal Sector in Waste Management,”
including ensuring the safety of workers handling electronic wastes.

11.  Draw up the government’s legislative agenda for the environment,
which should, among others,  include the passage of laws a) banning
plastic bags, b) restricting toxic chemicals in packaging,  c)
establishing extended producer responsibility for electrical and electronic
equipment, and for packaging, and d) ensuring public’s right to know through
the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register.

12.  Ensure early ratification and implementation of major
multilateral environmental and chemical agreements such as the Paris
Agreement on Climate Change, Minamata Convention on Mercury and the Basel
Convention Ban Amendment.   

13.  Order the re-export of Canadian garbage back to its origin and
initiate policy reforms to effectively block foreign waste dumping in the
country, including ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment.