P10-B Wasted Pork Barrel Could Have Funded Solutions to Nation's Garbage Woes

(Cartoon by Roni Santiago)

The P10-billion pork barrel funds that have gone astray could have helped in financing solutions to the country’s perpetual garbage woes.

The EcoWaste Coalition stressed this point as communities inundated by relentless monsoon rains in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon come to grips with one of the most visible after effects of the weather disturbance: garbage.

“The plundered funds could have assisted our communities in raising public awareness and participation in the ecological management of discards that has proven benefits of reducing the volume of garbage for disposal to the least,” said Aileen Lucero, Acting National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“P10-B could have eased, if not provided enduring solutions, to the waste and toxic crisis affecting our people and the environment,” she said.

According to the EcoWaste Coalition, the ten billion pesos of wasted taxpayers’ money could have funded, in full or in part, a range of responsive programs and services addressing the country’s swelling waste estimated at 39,257 tons/day by the National Solid Waste Management Commission.

The P10-B squandered public funds could have funded:

1. 1,000,000 whole-day training activities on ecological solid waste management involving 50,000,000 people at P10,000/50-person activity covering meals, hand-outs, speakers’ honoraria and other basic incidental expenses.

2.  1,000,000 to 2,000,000 Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) at P5,000 – P10,000/facility for rural barangays, and 20,000 to 200,000 MRFs at P50,000 – 500,000/facility for urban barangays; MRFs serve as depositories for segregated discards that can be reused, recycled or
composted to minimize the volume of trash sent to residual waste landfill.

3. 22,222 biodegradables shredder (7 Hp, 1.5 tons/hour) costing P450,000/machine to cut up garden or farm waste and other organics into small pieces to speed up the composting process.

4. 2,857,142 generic sewing machines at P3,500/unit that community women can use to make reusable bags from fabrics, doy packs, flour and rice sacks and other materials.

5.  1,538,461 pedicabs at P6,500/unit or 2,857,142 wooden carts at P3,500 /cart that itinerant waste recyclers can use for “bote-dyaryo” business.

6.  66,666 junk shops that will ideally need a start-up capital of P150,000.

7. 2,000,000 low-interest loans at P5,000/person that will enable waste pickers to venture into micro-enterprises to augment their incomes.

The P10-B wasted funds could have also alleviated the living and working conditions of the informal recyclers, which, in addition to access to low-interest loans, need insurance coverage, skills building opportunities, educational assistance for their children, protective gears, etc.

Additionally, the EcoWaste Coalition pointed out that with P10-B, the government could have realized the many salient requirements of Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, including assisting local governments in shutting down, cleaning up and rehabilitating open and controlled dumpsites that have persisted to exist beyond their mandatory closure in February 2006.

On Monday, August 26, a contingent from member groups of the EcoWaste Coalition will join the “Million People March” to demonstrate their anger and indignation over the gross misuse of pork barrel funds by certain officials and their cohorts, including some phony non-government organizations.


Notes for the Media:

1. The 10,000/whole-day training activity on ecological solid waste management with 50 participants per activity is based on the estimates provided by the Mother Earth Foundation and the Zero Waste Philippines.

2. The costs for constructing MRFS came from Mother Earth Foundation, Zero Waste Philippines and the National Solid Waste Management Commission

5. An RU Biodegradables Shredder (7 Hp, 1.5 tons/hour) costs P450,000/unit; info from RU Foundry and Machine Corp., # 6 Spring Drive, Congressional Village 1, Congressional Ave. Proj. 8 Q.C, Phone: 929-6550;

6. Cost of a pedicab: P6,500;

7. Cost of a kariton: estimated cost

8. Cost of start-up capital for a small junk shop business: P150,000;

9. Cost of one manual sewing machine: a. generic sewing machine, P3,500 and basic Singer sewing machine, P5,000 from Monteverde Sewing Machine, 1870 Abad Santos St., Sta. Cruz, Manila; Phone: 362 0712;

10. Waste volume of 39,257 tons/day: