Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Litter-free PH

On the eve of the 25th anniversary of EDSA I the environmental watchdog EcoWaste Coalition invoked “people power” to cut what it described as the country’s “mammoth waste size” of nearly 13 million tons annually, close and rehabilitate over a thousand illegal dumpsites and put a stop to the filthy practice of littering.

Citing information from the National Solid Waste Management Commission, the EcoWaste Coalition said that the entire country generates daily some 35,000 tons of waste of which 8,400 tons come from Metro Manila.

Of the yearly national waste generation of 12,775,000 tons, some 40 percent to 70 percent are collected and thrown in 1,205 waste disposal facilities, of which 55 are “sanitary” landfills and 1,172 are open or controlled dumps long outlawed by Republic Act 9003, also known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

“Despite national and local laws prohibiting and penalizing littering and dumping, the unabashed trashing of our fragile environment persists,” lamented Roy Alvarez, EcoWaste Coalition president.

“Regardless of age, gender, education and social standing, people drop litter as if littering, a most evident environmental offense, were okay and acceptable,” Alvarez said.

“By calling for people power against littering, the EcoWaste Coalition hopes that Filipinos, as one people, will reject this dirty habit and rally behind a litter-free Pilipinas that we all can be proud of,” he said.

“We are not asking the people to come together en masse in EDSA or anywhere else. What we seek is a personal commitment from all patriotic Filipinos not to litter and to embrace a lifestyle that will treat our Mother Earth with love and respect,” Alvarez explained.

“As the force of change, we, the people, can clear our surroundings of trash and get rid of dumps, which are akin to gaping wounds that should be cleaned, sealed and healed,” he said.

To achieve a “litter-free Pilipinas,” Filipinos need to recognize dumping as a social ill that has to be dealt with head-on and exterminated, regard the habit as distasteful and totally unacceptable, and arrest the problem by enforcing RA 9003 in combination with information, education and other value-formation measures, the EcoWaste Coalition said.

“We hope that P-Noy himself will lead this movement for a ‘litter-free Pilipinas’ in line with his ‘Social Contract with the Filipino People,’” Alvarez said.

The social contract refers to the electoral platform of then presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino that is supposed to represent “a commitment to change that Filipinos can depend on.”


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