Quezon City. A group campaigning for a “litter-free Pilipinas” welcomed the decision by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to revive an anti-littering policy that has been dormant for years.
The EcoWaste Coalition in a statement said that the move to resuscitate MMDA Regulation No. 96-009 as amended by MMDA Regulation No. 99-006 should strengthen the agency’s operations, in collaborationwith local government units (LGUs), to clear the streets and waterways of trash.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino vowed recently to implement the ban on littering, dumping and disposal of trash in public places as embodied in the said regulation that penalizes violators with a fine of P500 to P1,000 or a corrective community service.
“We seek and support the earnest enforcement of R.A. 9003 and related ordinances and measures by the MMDA and the 17 LGUs to curb indiscriminate waste disposal and encourage environmental stewardship among Metro Manila residents,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.
R.A. 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, promotes waste avoidance and volume reduction, separation of discards at source, reuse, recycling, composting and other best practices in waste management sans incineration.
“Littering affects everyone even those who litter,” said Alvarez. “We all suffer from this filthy habit that chokes storm drains and triggers disruptive and health-threatening flashfloods,” he said.
“A crackdown on litterbugs is justified in order to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare,” Alvarez pointed out.
“Launching a litter-free Metro Manila campaign is a meaningful way to observe the first anniversary of Ondoy’s epic flood, which falls within the Creation Month, and affirm our environmental responsibility,” he suggested.
“Christians from various denominations mark September as the Creation Month to remind the faithful about our relationship with Mother Nature and our shared mission to respect and care for her,” he added.
As the EcoWaste Coalition urges the government and people to make the metropolis and the whole country litter-free, the group issued a list of 10 friendly reminders for all caring Filipinos to consider to foster cleaner and healthier communities:
1. Set a good example, especially for kids, by not littering; discourage others from doing so by politely explaining the effects of littering.
2. Reduce your waste size, separate and reuse your discards, recycle the non-biodegradables and compost the organics.
3. Do not throw hazardous discards such as mercury-containing lamps into regular trash.
4. Do not leave your trash out by the road for collection.
5. Avoid using plastic bags and other single-use disposable items that only add to our mounting garbage; choose reusables.
6. Hold on to your rubbish such as bus tickets, food wrappers and cigarette filters, until you have found a waste bin.
7. Do not throw litter out of cars. Place a litter bag in your vehicle to collect your trash until a bin is available.
8. For chewing gum consumers: “you chew it, you must bin it.”
9. For smokers: “don’t just drop cigarette butt, bin it.”
10.For pet owners: “don’t give your dog a bad name, pick up after them.”