March 24, 2023

Regional line agencies and local government units in the Cordillera expressed support to the National Plan of Action for the Prevention, Reduction, and Management of Marine Litter (NPOA-ML) in the Philippines to ensure “zero waste” waters.

The Environmental Management Bureau-Cordillera spearheaded the regional launch of the NPOA-ML in a ceremony coinciding with the Regional Environmental Summit in Baguio recently.

EMB-Cordillera Director Ma. Victoria Abrera said the NPOA-ML is developed to provide a blueprint to enhance the current efforts of the country in resource and waste management and to bring additional lens to marine litter issues and the control of additional leakage of waste into bodies of water.

The commitments of the different stakeholders will bring opportunities to fill the gaps on the current efforts in the solid waste management particularly reduce, reuse, recycle or 3Rs approaches, and eventually, help localize the NPOA-ML in the Cordillera, she said.

“By the principle of ‘Ridge to Reef,’ we are aiming to provide a holistic intervention for protecting our coastal areas by targeting environmental degradation in the uplands, an integrated management approach. Thus, we need you. You are here, we are here. Our commitments will definitely help reduce, if not stop marine liters from reaching marine waters,” said Abrera.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera Executive Director Ralph Pablo through Assistant RED for Technical Services Maximo Soriano, Jr. called and challenged his fellow executives to continue the partnerships with the DENR in environmental activities. 

Among those who expressed support are Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera Director Fay Apil, Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera Director Nancy Bantog, Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera Director Juliet Lucas, Department of the Interior and Local Government-Cordillera Assistant Executive Director Ruperto Maribbay, Jr., Watershed and Water Resources Research Development and Extension Center TTPEU Chief Chita Hidalgo, Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Research Division Chief Luis Lang-oy, and Land Transportation Office-Cordillera Transportation Regulation Officer Chiki Gano.

Those who expressed their support from the local government units are Benguet Gov. Melchor Diclas represented by Executive Assistant Dave Cabuten, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong represented by Engr. Marivic Empizo of the City Environment and Parks Management Office, Pudtol Mayor Hector Reuel Pascua, and Liga ng mga Barangay of Baguio Chair Michael Lee Lawana represented by Holy Ghost Proper Punong Barangay Murphy Maspil, Sr.

During the same event, the EMB-Cordillera recognized LGUs, individuals, and other groups for that have initiated best practices on ecological solid waste management.

The awardees for the Outstanding Practices in Upcycling and Crafts Production are Marion Codeo from Atok, Benguet for the individual category and the Mayag National High School in Bauko, Mountain Province through Principal Daisy Taganas and Teacher Zaira Bulasoy for the group category.

Paracelis, Mountain Province was recognized for the Outstanding Practices of Composting Operations; the city government of Tabuk, Kalinga for the Outstanding Practices in Sanitary Landfill Operations; and Pudtol, Apayao for Outstanding Practices of Materials Recovery Facility Operation. – Redjie Melvic Cawis