EcoWaste Coalition Appeals to the People to Heed the President’s Warning against Improper Waste Disposal

The warning aired by President Benigno S. Aquino III (P-Noy) against litterbugs who dump their discards in waterways causing flood control equipment to slow down or conk out has received strong support from advocates for a “litter-free Pilipinas.”

Yesterday, August 15, Aquino urged Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Manila Rep. Zenaida Angpin, during a visit to the Binondo Pumping Station, to impose stringent penalties to dissuade those who throw their refuse in waterways.

The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental network pushing for sustainable solutions to waste and pollution woes, commended the chief executive for taking a strong stance against the dumping of garbage in waterways – an illegal act under Section 48 of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

“We are one with the President in seeking the cooperation of all citizens in putting an end to the irresponsible disposal of garbage in public areas, particularly in streets and waterways, which interferes with the flow of water as well as with the efficient operation of pumping stations, and thus causes awful floods during heavy rains,” said Edwin Alejo, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Let us pay sincere attention to the President’s plea for ecological waste management to mitigate flooding in Manila and elsewhere, which is for the common good,” he emphasized.

“Having proven himself successful in silencing abusive wang-wang (sirens), we know that P-Noy can be a victorious basura buster. He can be the zero waste champion that our nation needs,” he added.

Alejo pointed out that “an honest-to-goodness enforcement of R.A. 9003, led by P-Noy and supported by his bosses (the Filipino people), will have a tremendous effect in restoring our degraded ecosystems, in preventing resources from being destroyed, in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from wastes that are dumped, landfilled or incinerated and in minimizing flooding.”

“It will also save large amounts of taypayers’ money used to pay for waste disposal and for costly dredging operations of clogged storm drains and waterways,” he said.

Politicians led by Senators Chiz Escudero and Loren Legarda have likewise pressed for the stricter implementation of R.A. 9003 to curb the flood and garbage problems following the incessant torrential rains that submerged 80% of Metro Manila last week, the EcoWaste Coalition noted.

R.A. 9003 unequivocally prohibits the littering, throwing and dumping of waste matters in roads, sidewalks, canals, esteros, parks and other public places.

R.A. 9003 also bans the open burning and open dumping of garbage.

The law, signed by Aquino’s predecessor, ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, on January 26, 2001, further prohibits the establishment and operation of open dumps for waste disposal.

In lieu of open burning and open dumping, the law provides for “the formulation and adoption of best environmental practices in ecological solid waste management excluding incineration.”