DAVAO CITY – An environmentalist group has proposed a 13-point action plan for the presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte on his first 100 days in office.
“As an environmental organization dedicated to the promotion of a zero waste and toxic-free society, we are pleased to put forward the ‘Action Agenda on Wastes and Toxics’ that we hope President Duterte will actively pursue in his first 100 days in office,” said EcoWaste Coalition Coordinator Aileen Lucero in a statement Wednesday, May 18.
The EcoWaste Coalition said that the action plan proposed to Duterte is to “ease the country’s uphill battle against waste and toxics” on his administration.
The 13-point action plan, if carried out by the incoming administration, “will spell a big difference as to how the new government will tackle our persistent problem with the growing quantity and toxicity of wastes generated by the households, institutions, businesses, and industries,” Lucero said.
The action plan which the group said to contribute to the protection of human health and the environment are the following:
1. Appoint a genuine pro-environment and pro-people Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary with an exemplary track record in environmental protection.
2. Announce the government’s program to determinedly combat waste and pollution through Zero Waste strategies and practices sans incineration on his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).
3. Convene and chair the first meeting of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) and set a comprehensive Zero Waste agenda to reduce the volume and toxicity of the country’s waste.
4. Instruct the DENR Secretary to take full leadership and responsibility in ensuring that the Zero Waste agenda is put into operation by the entire government machinery.
5. Order a participatory review and analysis of where the public funds for managing wastes go and recommend priority use of taxpayers’ money to support and advance the Zero Waste agenda.
6. Ensure the proper release and use of the allocated budget from the General Appropriations Act of 2016 for capacity building programs towards the effective implementation of Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
7. Make the NSWMC and all its members accountable for the performance of their responsibilities towards the effective enforcement of R.A. 9003, including providing quarterly submission of accomplishment reports that should be publicly available.
8. Stop all undertakings that are in breach of the incineration ban under R.A. 8749 and R.A. 9003, including the ongoing formulation of “waste-to-energy” guidelines by the NSWMC.
9. Suspend the development and implementation of proposed coal power plants in the pipeline and so-called waste-to-energy facilities. Instead, prioritize the development and mainstreaming of clean and renewable energy projects to meet the country’s projected energy requirements.
10. Order the NSWMC to fast track the implementation of the “National Framework and Strategy on the Role of the Informal Sector in Waste Management,” including ensuring the safety of workers handling electronic wastes.
11. Draw up the government’s legislative agenda for the environment, which should, among others, include the passage of laws a) banning plastic bags, b) restricting toxic chemicals in packaging, c) establishing extended producer responsibility for electrical and electronic equipment, and for packaging, and d) ensuring public’s right to know through the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register.
12. Ensure early ratification and implementation of major multilateral environmental and chemical agreements such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Minamata Convention on Mercury and the Basel Convention Ban Amendment.
13. Order the re-export of Canadian garbage back to its origin and initiate policy reforms to effectively block foreign waste dumping in the country, including ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment.
The group also proposed to Duterte to “initiate policy reforms to effectively block foreign waste dumping in the country, including ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment.”
Citing the NSWMC, the group said the projected waste generation in 2016 is estimated to reach 40,087.46 tons per day nationwide. “This figure does not include wastes that are illegally shipped into our country in the guise of ‘recycling’ such as the infamous garbage from Canada,” the group noted.
EcoWaste Coalition said that they are going to submit 13-point action plan to Duterte’s spokesperson Peter Laviña through their Davao City-based affiliate Interface for Development Interventions (IDIS). (davaotoday.com)