22 March 2007

Protect our Waterways, Go for Zero Waste

20 March, 2007, Quezon City – As the world commemorates the World Water Day on March 22, the EcoWaste Coalition and Sagip Pasig Movement appeal to the public not to throw their discards in rivers, esteros and canals and instead join hands in strengthening the implementation of ecological solid waste management in their barangay.

“Our waterways are vital ecosystems that have sustained countless generations of Filipinos by providing clean water, food and access for trade and commerce. That is why it is really saddening to see how we reduce our water bodies into dumping grounds for our domestic and industrial waste,” said Meth Jimenez of Sagip Pasig Movement.

Major rivers and tributaries across Metro Manila like the Pasig River, Marikina River and Tullahan River have been clogged by mixed waste which causes flooding and infestation of rodents, flies and mosquitoes on the many parts of the metropolis. Trash thrown in waterways end up in the sea, and is a threat to the country's already fragile marine ecosystem.

According to the latest monitoring of the 15 large pumping stations in the metropolis by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), there was a drastic increase in the volume of garbage collected from a total of 13, 988 cubic meters in 2005 to 18,796 cubic meters last year.

In the discard survey facilitated by EcoWaste Coaliton and Greenpeace in Manila Bay in 2006, 60% of the garbage collected were plastics and mostly single-use disposable plastic bags.

“One of the most important steps in protecting our waterways is to push for the strengthening of ecological solid waste management in every barangay and industry,” said Gigie Cruz of Plastics Task Force of the EcoWaste Coalition.

The Coalition believes that the country's existing environmental laws such as Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and Clean Water Act provide sufficient framework in protecting our rivers and other bodies of water.

“The local government and the different sectors should unite in providing awareness and guiding the communities in managing ecologically their discards, and ensuring industry compliance to necessary pollution prevention and mitigation requirements,” said Cruz.

“Everyone can do their share in cleaning up our waterways. Avoid using plastics and disposable materials and shift to using reusable bags or containers. Segregate our discards at home, recycle, compost. Improve the collection and maintenance of Metro Manila’s sewerage systems. Let us act now to restore the health and integrity of our rivers,” said Jimenez.


For more information, please call Meth Jimenez at 0918-2258661 or the EcoWaste Coalition at (02) 929-0376.



EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 320, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 9290376
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

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