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Editorial: Mindanao ‘much better’ in easing garbage woes

Compliance to Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 is “much better” in Mindanao than in Luzon and the Visayas, the two other major island groupings in the Philippines, a senior government official said.

RA 9003 requires local government units to close open dumpsites by 2006 and replace them with sanitary landfill facilities.

Engineer Eligio Ildefonso, chief of the Solid Waste Management Division of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), an agency under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said that 50 local government units across the nation allegedly violated the act.

Speaking in a media workshop on plastic pollution last year organized by Internews Earth Journalism Network, Ildefonso, who is also acting executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Council Secretariat, noted that Mindanao is faring well in the implementation of RA 9003.

While majority of Mindanao is complying with RA 9003, Ildefonso said there’s a need to put up more recycling facilities in the southern Philippines to better address the island’s garbage problem. Recycling facilities, especially for plastics, are mostly located in the National Capital Region, particularly in Valenzuela City,

The public is urged to reduce consumption of products contained in single-use plastics, and to reuse or recycle waste materials, to ease the country’s mounting garbage problem.

The country is estimated to produce 43,684 tons of waste daily, 9,878 tons from Metro Manila where about 14 million people live. Plastic wastes were estimated to comprise about 11 percent, or some 4,608 tons, of the national daily garbage generation in 2018, data showed.

Angelica Carballo Pago, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines media campaigner, called on companies to eliminate or reduce the production of single-use plastic products, particularly those packaged in sachets or small packets, in a bid to break free from plastic pollution.

“Such move must be part of their corporate social responsibility,” she said, stressing these big companies headquartered in richer countries must be held accountable for producing single-use plastic products patronized mostly by low-income earners in developing countries. (From Mindanews)

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