Thursday, July 9, 2015

Legarda: Aim for zero waste, implement ecological solid waste management law

Senator Lorna Regina “Loren” B. Legarda renewed her call for the strict implementation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Law, stressing that local government units (LGUs) should aim for zero waste.

In her keynote speech for the opening of the First National Integrated Waste Management Exhibition, Ms. Legarda, principal author of RA 9003, urged the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) to strengthen its efforts in ensuring compliance with the ESWM law.

“Encourage LGUs that compliance is doable. Good policies are important but it is in the implementation that we can make a real difference.”

Under RA 9003, the NSWMC should promote research on ecological solid waste management and resource conservation and coordinate the operation of local solid waste management boards in LGUs.

The Senator noted the observation of Pope Francis in his recently released encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’. The Pope said the earth is beginning to look more and more like an “immense pile of filth” primarily due to our “throwaway culture.”

Ms. Legarda said that our compliance with the ESWM law and other environmental laws would address these challenges and help build clean, healthy, safe and resilient communities.

She added that there are LGUs that are able to implement the law and there are efforts to help ensure compliance, such as the “Solid Waste Management Law Voluntary Compliance Assessment and Promotion Program”, a program launched by the Office of the Ombudsman, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, NSWMC, the Department of Interior and Local Government, United Nations Development Programme, Zero Waste Philippines, Mother Earth Foundation and Bangon Kalikasan, which aims to recognize LGUs that have complied with the ESWM Law and urge voluntary compliance of other LGUs.


“Let us veer away from the throwaway culture and aim for zero waste economy where the output of each resource use is converted into input for another use. Let us give nothing less than our wholehearted commitment to our duty as stewards of the earth so that we, and the generations to come, can live in a safe, clean, healthy and resilient world,” Ms. Legarda concluded.

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