Tuesday, June 7, 2011

President Aquino to champion solid waste management nationwide

President Benigno Aquino III himself will lead the campaign for nationwide compliance with Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which promotes proper waste disposal and aims reducing the country’s garbage volume -– already estimated at some 35,000 tons daily -- to help safeguard public health and to protect the environment.

”He agreed to come out in mass media and request people to undertake solid waste management (SWM),” said Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje.

To help the campaign reach as many people as possible, Paje said President Aquino requested DENR to prepare either a documentary or advertisement highlighting need for SWM which covers collection, transport, processing, recycling, disposal and monitoring of garbage generated.

Such documentary or advertisement featuring the President making his appeal for SWM will be aired on television and other forms of mass media, Paje noted.

”The solid waste issue won’t be resolved unless households and others cooperate and follow the law,” Paje said.

Last week, DENR signed with each of several Metro Manila local government units (LGUs) the memorandum of agreement on promoting SWM.

Such LGUs are Caloocan City, Malabon City, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Marikina City, Pasay City, Pateros, Quezon City, Taguig City and Valenzuela City.

As provided for in the agreements, DENR will extend technical assistance and funding for helping LGUs concerned establish within a year SWM systems for homeowners' associations in subdivisions and condominiums across respective areas of jurisdiction.

Establishing such systems aims to help reduce Metro Manila's garbage volume which National Solid Waste Management Commission reported as already reaching over 8,700 tons daily.

The DENR reported 4,717 Metro Manila-based homeowners' associations were already identified for assistance.

The LGUs concerned will select the beneficiary-associations, provide over-all supervision in implementing the agreements with DENR and furnish quarterly accomplishment reports on the matter, respectively.

Paje is urging cooperation on such project so that the DENR and its partners can eventually concentrate on addressing garbage in the country’s informal settlements.

He believes addressing such problem is more complicated due to prevailing poverty there.

”I believe it’s not only a garbage issue but a social concern as well,” he said.

One of the issues in informal settlements is lack of sewerage facilities for proper disposal of waste.


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