Senator Cynthia Villar says the turnover of solid waste management equipment to local government units will help attain the zero waste targets of cities and municipalities.
Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, noted that the distribution of the equipment was delayed because the turnover started only last month although the budget was available since 2017.
The senator cited the need to hasten the turnover since the country’s waste problems became worse during the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said healthcare-related wastes such as face masks added to the pile of garbage we have to deal with.
She said environmental groups claim the country generates over 40,000 tons of garbage per day.
The composting equipment being distributed by the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, according to Villar, will allow LGUs to manage their wastes.
Coincidentally, 2021 is the 20th Anniversary of the signing into law of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
Villar has filed a bill to that would amend the law by institutionalizing the practice of Extended Producers Responsibilit.
It would mandate companies especially in industries that generate plastic wastes to be responsible “for the proper and effective disposal of their products after they have been sold to and used by consumers with the objectives of reducing waste generation and of improving recyclability or reusability of wastes, which include plastic containers or packaging materials”.
sVillar’s Senate committee also intends to pass a law against single-use plastics. One of the bills that will be consolidated with other bills is Senate Bill 333 or the Single-Use Plastic Product Regulation Act of 2019 that she authored. It seeks to regulate the manufacturing, importation and “single use” of plastic products.
Moreover, Villar is also asking DENR-EMB to speed up the procurement of the 25 units of equipment that will recycle plastic wastes into school chairs, which will be given to LGUs also. Plastic make up a significant amount of solid wastes and one of the most damaging to the environment.
“The ultimate goal of our solid waste management efforts and legislation is zero waste and we have to give the people and the LGUs the capability and capacity to really manage their own waste. We have to get really serious about achieving zero waste,” said Villar.
The month of January is also known as Zero Waste Month as mandated by Presidential Proclamation 760 dated May 5, 2014. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Bouncing Back from the Pandemic to a Greener and Healthier Environment”.