EcoWaste Coalition Calls for Strict Enforcement of R.A. 9003 and R.A. 9275 to Avert Flooding

environmental watchdog called for the stringent implementation of two major
environmental laws to prevent chronic flashfloods in Metro Manila’s streets.
“We call on all local government units to ensure that R.A. 9003 and R.A. 9275
are faithfully enforced in their areas of jurisdiction to minimize floods
aggravated by clogged canals and creeks,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator of
the EcoWaste Coalition.
R.A. 9003 (the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act) prohibits littering, open
dumping and other acts that pose harm to health and sanitation, while R.A. 9275
(the Clean Water Act) prohibits the discharging of materials that could cause
water pollution or impede the natural flow in the water body.
“We likewise appeal to all households and business establishments to stop
indiscriminate garbage disposal knowing that what we carelessly dispose of will
come back to haunt our families and communities.  As the saying goes: ‘basurang
tinapon mo, babalik sa iyo’
,” Lucero said.
“Recklessly thrown discards from the tiny but toxic cigarette filters to the
ubiquitous plastic bags and Styrofoam containers can block water channels and
cause flashfloods,” she said.
“Local authorities should deploy environmental police to catch and charge
offenders,” she suggested.
Under R.A. 9003, litterbugs can be fined from P300 to P1,00, compelled to
undertake community service or be required to pay the fine as well as render
community service, while violators of R.A. 9275 can be fined not less than
P10,000 to not more P200,000 for every day of violation.
Lucero noted that plastic-based waste materials indiscriminately-thrown in storm drains and esteros end
up polluting the Manila Bay.  
She cited last year’s waste audit conducted by EcoWaste Coalition, Global
Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace, and Mother Earth Foundation
in the Manila Bay that showed plastic wastes topping the bay’s flotsam at
Discards surveys conducted by the same groups in 2010  and
2006  found
75 to 76% of the trash floating on Manila Bay as comprised mainly of plastic
wastes, mostly plastic bags and polystyrene products. 
The EcoWaste Coalition also asked the Department of
Public Works and Highways to prosecute erring contractors that have unduly
delayed drainage and road projects, aggravating the flood as well as traffic
situation in the metropolis.