Senator Loren Legarda called on authorities to implement ecological solid waste management plans and strictly enforce regulations on garbage segregation and disposal.
Legarda, principal sponsor and author of the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Act, made the statement following a report by the environmental group Greenpeace that cites the Philippines as the third worst polluter of plastic in our oceans.
“Our ocean is home to millions of species of marine plants and animals. It is also the main source of livelihood of our fisher folk communities whom we rely for fresh bounty of seafood. It is such a shame that we are treating our oceans as if our lives do not depend on it,” the veteran legislator said.
“I renew my call to national and local authorities to enforce the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act that intends to mainstream effective waste management practices – such as segregation of garbage at source, segregated transportation, processing, treatment, and proper disposal of solid waste – into our daily consciousness. Through these measures, we correct misconceptions and wrong practices and educate our people on how to properly protect and take care of the environment,” the seasoned lawmaker said.
According to Greenpeace, the Philippines contributed 1.88 million tons of “mismanaged plastic waste” each year, with China and Indonesia polluting the most. This is further supported by the group’s week-long clean-up campaign on Manila Bay this month, where more than 54,200 pieces of plastic waste were recovered from the bay.
The lady senator stressed that, while all local government units are mandated to have a solid waste management plan, the private sector and citizens are also encouraged to undertake such initiatives.
“We are all called for to pursue efforts that would support this cause. Our private companies, especially, could look into greener alternatives to retail plastic packaging, as well as other environmental sustainability projects,” she said.
“From segregation and recycling in workplaces to conducting coastal clean-ups, we all can do more. It is only appropriate that we protect the very environment which we have relied so heavily on for food, water, shelter, and other basic needs,” Legarda concluded.