June 22, 2024

The committee on health and sanitation, ecology, and environmental protection of the city council has recommended for the approval of the proposed ordinance institutionalizing the conduct of the ecological waste management and sustainability fair in the city on third and final reading.

The proposal acknowledges the significance of promoting sustainable practices as a means of attaining the goal of reducing, if not achieving zero wastes and to lessen the impact of waste generation to people and the environment.

It also pointed out the city government spends millions of pesos in hauling tons of residual wastes to Tarlac, which could be used instead for development projects.

It cited the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, which provides the necessary policy framework, institutional mechanisms and mandate to the local government unites to achieve 25 percent waste reduction through establishing an integrated solid waste management plans based on the 3Rs or reduce, reuse, and recycling.

As stated in the law,“zero waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.”

Also, Proclamation 760, s. 2014 issued by then President Benigno Aquino III declaredevery January as Zero Waste Month.

To fulfil such mandate,the city government spearheaded the conduct of activities with the private sectors to promote people’s awareness on strategies to reduce, if not avoid, wastes on a larger scale.

The activities conducted were geared toward keeping the waste materials in use for as long as possible as a strategy to reduce the volume of garbage collected.

Efforts started on Jan. 26 to 27, 2023 where the Zero Waste Management Fair was held at Malcolm Square anchored on the theme, “Basura mo, bawasan mo” in observance of the Zero Waste Month as well the Eco Waste and Sustainability Expo at Malcolm Square on Sept. 15 to 16, 2023 and on Dec. 14 to 15, 2023 for the Christmas Eco-waste and Sustainability Fair to promote eco-friendly practices during the holiday season.

Two Sundays of this month were devoted to an eco waste management and sustainability fair in celebration of Women’s Month which saw the active involvement of the public in activities such as the household item exchange and provision of a booth for proper e-waste disposal.

“The well-participated events were living testaments to the active engagement and unwavering support between the private sector and the city government in making a positive impact on the environment,” the proposed ordinance stated.

The proposed ordinance seeks for the conduct of ecologicalwaste managementand sustainability fairs quarterly, or as needed, at a suitable public venue not otherwise prohibited by law.

Partnerships shall be forged with church groups, districts, barangays, private entities and other groups for the fairs as part of their own environmental programs and barangaysare strongly encouraged to conduct the fairs within their areas of jurisdiction as part of livelihood and environment programs.

The fairs may likewise be conducted as a district activitywhenconcurred by the barangays within the district.

Among other provisions, a committee under the Solid Waste Management Board shall also be created through an administrative order by mayor, composed of representatives from the public and private sectors, which shall handle,plan, manage and oversee the conduct and operation of the activity and perform such other functions necessary to carry out the smooth implementation of the fairs. – Hanna C. Lacsamana