EcoWaste Coalition Lauds MMDA’s Latest Cleanliness Drive, Renews Plea for P-Noy to Champion “Litter-Free Pilipinas” Campaign

An environmental network campaigning for a “litter-free Pilipinas” has thrown its support behind the freshly-launched “Metro Ko, Love Ko!” program to make the burgeoning metropolis clean.

The “Metro Ko, Love Ko!” cleanliness campaign unveiled yesterday (February 12) by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) aims to keep the streets and waterways of the national capital region garbage-free.

“We welcome this latest effort by the MMDA to strengthen the agency’s ongoing anti-littering drive in collaboration with local government units and the public and private sectors,” said Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition.

According to its website, the MMDA has apprehended over 21,000 litterbugs since the agency revived MMDA Regulation No. 96-009, the Anti-Littering Ordinance, last September 2010 .

“For such a clear-cut but enormous task of keeping Metro Manila garbage-free, the MMDA will need the help of all Metro citizens as well as transients who come to the metropolitan area for study, work, business or leisure,” he said.

“An intensified 24/7, year-round campaign against littering and dumping will hopefully lead to a dramatic turnaround of our disgraceful habit of throwing garbage wherever and whenever we like,” he added.

“If there is one social ill that our country needs to put a stop to next to graft and corruption, it must be littering,” he pointed out.

“We hope that MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino will pursue other upbeat steps to prevent and reduce Metro trash such as curbing the reckless use of plastic bags, banning non-reusable fiesta buntings such as those made of plastic bags, stepping up tobacco control measures, and making organizers accountable for litter-free civic, political, religious, cultural, commercial and sport activites,” he further said.

The EcoWaste Coalition likewise reiterated its plea for President Benigno S. Aquino III to lend his voice and energy to magnify and bolster the campaign against littering and for Zero Waste.
“While we know we should not be dependent on the chief executive to get things done, we strongly believe that it will make a huge difference if President Aquino himself leads the campaign for a ‘litter-free Pilipinas’,” Alvarez said.

“Given his moral ascendancy and popularity, P-Noy can make littering a thing of the past just like what he did with the abusive use of wang-wang (flashing sirens),” he stated.

“We fervently wish that P-Noy will speak up against littering, a dastardly act of environmental abuse and injustice with sweeping implications, and promote Zero Waste values and practices nationwide,” he added.

Aside from causing hygiene and sanitation hazards and flashfloods, littering leads to a litany of other problems that are too often ignored, the EcoWaste Coalition lamented.

The indiscriminate disposal of trash such as discarded plastic bags, cigarette butts and other common litter can injure, maim or even kill animals. Plastic debris in the marine environment, for example, can trap, entangle or choke birds and sea creatures.

Littering ruins the image and downgrade the status of a place, driving businesses, customers and tourists away. It further creates an unfair impression that Filipinos are shameless and filthy people who do not care about their surroundings.

Removing litter from streets and waterways also costs lots of taxpayers’ money that are better spent for building classrooms, for clean recycling projects and for expanded social services targeting the urban poor, the EcoWaste Coalition said.


Additional information:

EcoWaste Coalition’s 10 practical waste reduction tips for caring Metro citizens and visitors:
1.Set a good example for others, especially the young children, by not littering.
2.Discourage others from littering by politely explaining the consequences of their actions.
3.Avoid using plastic bags and other single-use disposable items.
4.Reduce your waste size by separating your discards at source, reusing, recycling and composting them.
5.Do not leave your trash out by the road for collection.
6.Do not throw hazardous discards such as mercury-containing lamps and batteries in regular trash.
7.Hold on to your rubbish such as bus tickets, food wrappers and cigarette butts until you have found a waste bin.
8.Do not throw litter out of cars. Place a litter bag in your vehicle to collect your litter until a waste bin is available.
9.For chewing gum consumers: “you chew it, you must bin it.”
10.For pet owners: “don’t give your dog a bad name, pick up after them.”