18 July 2010

P-Noy Urged to Unveil Environmental Plans in Upcoming SONA



With barely a week before the chief executive addresses the joint session of the 15th Congress, an environmental network prodded P-Noy to use the occasion to unwrap a package of solutions to the country’s environmental woes.

The EcoWaste Coalition, a network of over 100 groups aiming for zero waste and chemical safety goals, expressed its hope that P-Noy’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) will give due prominence to protecting the environment from waste and toxic pollution.

“The SONA provides P-Noy with a superb venue to announce and draw citizens’ support for environmental policies and measures that will clean up our communities, while promoting an ecological way of life, mitigating climate impacts, spawning green jobs and inspiring local self-reliance,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

“We hope to hear P-Noy declaring an ambitious waste diversion target, which is attainable if all the stakeholders, including the people, government, industry, civil society, formal and informal waste sector, will put their acts together and advance an innovative people-centered zero waste program,” he said.

Such program should seek to 1) reduce the volume and toxicity of discards, 2) promote intensive reusing, recycling and composting, 3) recognize the role of informal waste sector in resource recovery, and 4) ensure the environmentally-sound management of hazardous waste.
For her part, Dr. Leah Primitiva Samaco-Paquiz, Secretary of the EcoWaste Coalition, underscored the need for P-Noy to respond to major chemical challenges facing the Filipino families and communities.

“The upcoming SONA, we hope, will demonstrate government’s steadfastness to safeguard the public health and the environment from toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead, mercury, cyanide and phthalates, to name a few,” she said.

“We’ll be elated if P-Noy will make policy pronouncements in support of global and local efforts to curb toxic pollution, including the non-combustion treatment of PCBs, the elimination of lead in paint and the implementation of various mercury control measures,” she added.

“Our people will be listening intently on how P-Noy plans to fix our waste and toxic problems and we hope we won’t be disappointed,”she said.
The EcoWaste Coalition crafted what they called the “Citizens’Agenda for Zero Waste and Chemical Safety,” which was submitted to P-Noy last June 25.

One of the key proposals of the group is for P-Noy to pursue a national chemical safety policy framework and action plan in line with the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).

Chemical safety, according to the EcoWaste Coalition, is integral to improving public health and the environment, eradicating disease and poverty, and achieving sustainable development for all.

-end-

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium
Matalino St., Quezon City
Philippines
+63 2 441-1846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com