18 May 2008

Citizens’ Responsibility to Keep Waterways Garbage-Free Pushed

Quezon City. With the onset of the rainy season, public safety, health and environmental advocates called on the general public to avert the usual flashfloods by keeping the waterways free of garbage and other obstructions.

Flashfloods are common sights in Metro Manila following heavy rains that can cause grave inconvenience or even lethal harm to pedestrians and motorists as well as considerable damage to business and property.

“Many places in Metro Manila are prone to flashfloods due to poor soil absorption of our heavily concretized urban communities and the inadequate or clogged drainage that cannot efficiently disperse the rainwater,” observed Ben Galindo, Chair of the Sagip Pasig Movement (SPM), a member of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“The simplest yet extremely crucial act that community leaders and residents can do together to minimize flashfloods is to stop dumping and keep the storm drains, esteros and rivers free of trash and other stuff that will get in the way of the rainwater,” he pointed out.

“In the interest of public safety, health and environment, we urge all citizens to abide by the basic tenets of ecological solid waste management (ESWM), which excludes all forms of open dumping and burning of discards,” Galindo stated.

ESWM is the environmentally-responsible way of managing discards through the combined application of innovative policies and techniques for waste prevention, reduction, separation at source, reuse, recycling and composting.

Galindo, who has eight-year experience in clean river advocacy, believes that ESWM plays a strategic role not only in flood prevention and control, but in the ultimate revival of the heavily polluted Pasig River and its tributaries.

“ESWM is a key element of SPM’s strategy of rehabilitating the Pasig River through the collaborative establishment of Clean River Zones (CRZs). By preventing the indiscriminate dumping of wastes and effluents from household, commercial and industrial sources through multi-sectoral cooperation, we will succeed in building CRZs and in restoring the health and beauty of our Pasig River,” he said.

Both the Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act) and Republic Act 9275 (Clean Water Act) provide fines and penalties for the illegal dumping of discards in canals, esteros, rivers and other water bodies.


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

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