The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the City Government of Puerto Princesa intensified the campaign for proper waste management and urged the public to segregate solid wastes at the household level.
Despite the fact that it is already 19 years after the passage of the Republic Act 9003 also known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, proper waste segregation is still not widely practiced at the household level.
Felizardo Cayatoc, CENR Officer of DENR-CENRO Puerto Princesa, said that the segregation should start at the very source of it, which is at home.
“The passage of RA 9003 ay mahigit dekada na, although napakahirap nga sabi natin kasi hindi pa ginagawa, but in our little ways sa bahay nag sisimula yang segregation ng basura yung nabulok at hindi nabubulok dapat nating gawin. Dapat natin ituro sa ating mga anak, sa ating mga kasamahan sa bahay. So yung mga maliit ngayon pag ginawa nating araw araw ay nagiging part na ng ating kaugalian. Kung saan isipin natin na yung pag halo-halo ng basura ay malaking problema kung ipunin mo yang basura dito sa buong syudad,” Cayatoc said.
He said that there are about 160 tons of waste generated by the city daily, and this huge volume is still increasing due to rapid urbanization.
The City’s sanitary landfill (SLF) has reached its limit and beyond it, is no longer within its carrying capacity.
Cayatoc, who also chaired the Sectoral Monitoring Team (SMT) of the SLF explained that one concrete steps to help reduce waste in the city is to do backyard composting, so that all biodegradable wastes such as kitchen and household wastes, which can be degraded easily can be reuse as soil conditioners in farms.
“So kung sa ating bahay mag-segrate tayo, yung mga nabubulok gawan natin ng pamaraan. Kung may maluwag na backyard ibaon natin o mag composting. Sana tinitignan natin sa future, ang mga residual nalang ang nadadala yung mga puwede i-recycle, i-recyle yung puwede ibenta, ibenta. Mababawasan na ang mga basura na madadala sa ating landfill. We are very happy enough na dito sa Puerto Princesa ay may ordinansa na tayo na nagbabawal paggamit ng mga plastic and then sa mga malls natin nakikita natin na pinapalitan na ng bag kung saan bibilhin mo yun kaya na better na pupunta na palengke, mall na may dala-dala na tayong lalagyan ng bibilhin,” said Catayoc.
The City Government through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office on the other hand, intensified its information education campaign (IEC) on RA 9003 at the barangay and purok level.
Mary Ann Joylle M. Madriñan, Senior Environmental Management Specialist and head of the Environmental Management Service Division, said that her staff were dispatched to the purok and baragay level to educate more people on RA 9003, anti-burning ordinance, etc.
She admitted that the City Government received an Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) last year from the Commission on Audit (COA) for the non implementation of segregation of wastes at the household level. The AOM questioned the absence of full enforcement of RA 9003.
A more intensified campaign on wastes management is necessary to educate more households that doing segregation of waste and composting help in protecting the environment.