EcoWaste Coalition's File Photo: Garbage-covered Estero de la Magdalena, 2015
An environmental watchdog group today sought the cooperation of Metro Manila inhabitants in keeping all waterways trash-free ahead of the observance of the World Water Day on March 22.
The EcoWaste Coalition directed its appeal for proper discards management to households and businesses situated along the rivers and drainage canals, or esteros, crisscrossing the 17 local government units comprising the National Capital Region.
At the same time, the group urged national and local candidates for the May 9 polls to espouse sustainable solutions that will protect the country’s water resources from chemical and waste dumping and other damaging human activities.
“We request our city dwellers, especially those with houses by the rivers and canals, to cooperate with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and concerned local government units (LGUs) in protecting our waterways from garbage,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Throwing trash into the streets, storm drains, creeks and rivers is unethical and unlawful,” she emphasized.
Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, lists the dumping of waste matters in public places as a prohibited act punishable by a fine of P300 to P1,000, or one to 15-day community service, or both.
In spite of the legal prohibition, illegal waste disposal goes on unabated, Lucero complained, citing the 288 truckloads of garbage and silt, approximately 2,989 cubic meters, that were removed by the MMDA from five of the 273 esteros and sewers in the metropolis during the agency’s “Estero Blitz” program that started on March 1.
“Among other major impacts, indiscriminate trash disposal increases flooding events that can pose serious hazard to life and property” Lucero said.
“By properly managing our discards, we prevent trash from getting into the drainage systems, blocking the drains and ultimately clogging creeks and rivers and hampering the free flow of water, which can aggravate floods and other water-related disasters,” she said.
With the general polls fast approaching, the EcoWaste Coalition challenged candidates running for national and local elective positions to make water protection an important aspect of their electoral platforms.
“As it is a crucial component of any program geared at attaining sustainable development, we find it essential for our aspiring political leaders to tackle water and sanitation issues and solutions for the benefit of all,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.