Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu encouraged anew all sectors of society to take zero waste seriously amid the worsening garbage problem in the country.

“The issue of solid waste management has hounded us for many decades now. It is time that we address this once and for all, and ensure that we walk the talk,” Cimatu said.

The environment chief issued the statement as the nation celebrates January as the National Zero Waste Month and the 17th anniversary of the implementation of Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

The celebration culminated with the holding of the 4th Integrated Waste Management Expo recently at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent in Quezon City.

When we live in unsanitary conditions, we breathe polluted air and dirty water comes out of our faucets.

Cimatu, who promised to make the full implementation of R.A. 9003 as one of his top priorities soon after he assumed the DENR post in May last year, said that poor waste management is not only a source of pollution but it also negatively impacts the environment and public health.

“When we live in unsanitary conditions, we breathe polluted air and dirty water comes out of our faucets. These violate our basic right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being,” he said.

Cimatu was on his third month in office when the DENR ordered the permanent closure of the Payatas sanitary landfill in Quezon City due to serious environmental violations and susceptibility to trash slide.

In June last year, he also put to task the municipal government of Malay in Aklan for the garbage problem on Boracay Island, which at the time was a major public and environmental concern in one of the country’s top tourist destinations.

The waste management expo, organized by the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau, aimed to raise awareness of the public and beef up efforts in solving the rising problem of solid waste in Metro Manila and other urban areas across the country.

The expo is open to the public, including government agencies and non-governmental organizations. It offers various activities like forums, talks and workshops that bear interesting topics on environmental protection, renewable energy, sustainable livelihood and updates on consumer goods that help save the planet.

More than 60 exhibitors joined the event to showcase their products, services and best available technology on solid waste management and environmental practices.


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