Watchdog Proposes Action Agenda on Wastes and Toxics for Duterte’s First 100 Days in Office

IDIS representatives submit "Sustainable Davao City Movement's 8-Point Environmental Agenda" and the EcoWaste Coalition's "13-Point Agenda on Wastes and Toxics" to Mr. Peter Tiu Laviña, spokesperson and member of the Duterte Transition Committee

The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental organization working towards a zero waste and toxic-free Philippines, has propounded the following 13-point action plan to ease the country’s uphill battle against wastes and toxics under the administration of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte. 
The EcoWaste Coalition through its Davao City-based affiliate Interface for Development Interventions (IDIS) will submit today its proposed “Action Agenda on Wastes and Toxics” to Peter Tiu Laviña, spokesperson and member of the Duterte Transition Committee.

1.  Appoint a genuine pro-environment and pro-people Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary with an exemplary track record in environmental protection. 

2.  Announce the government’s program to determinedly combat waste and pollution through Zero Waste strategies and practices sans incineration at his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

3. Convene and chair the first meeting of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) and set a comprehensive Zero Waste agenda to reduce the volume and toxicity of the country’s waste. 

4.  Instruct the DENR  Secretary to take full leadership and responsibility in ensuring that the Zero Waste agenda is put into operation by the entire government machinery. 

5.  Order a participatory review and analysis of where the public funds for managing wastes go and recommend priority use of taxpayers’ money to support and advance the Zero Waste agenda. 

6.  Ensure the proper release and use of the allocated budget from the General Appropriations Act of 2016 for capacity building programs towards the effective implementation of Republic Act  9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

7.  Make the NSWMC and all its members accountable for the performance of their responsibilities towards the effective enforcement of R.A. 9003, including providing quarterly submission of accomplishment reports that should be publicly available.

8.  Stop all undertakings that are in breach of the incineration ban under R.A. 8749 and R.A. 9003, including the ongoing formulation of “waste-to-energy” guidelines by the NSWMC.  

9.   Suspend  the development and implementation of  proposed coal power plants in the pipeline and so-called waste-to-energy facilities. Instead, prioritize the development and mainstreaming of  clean and renewable energy projects to meet the country’s projected energy requirements.

10.  Order the NSWMC to fast track the implementation of the “National Framework and Strategy on the Role of the Informal Sector in Waste Management,” including ensuring the safety of workers handling electronic wastes.

11.  Draw up the government's legislative agenda for the environment, which should, among others,  include the passage of laws a) banning plastic bags, b) restricting toxic chemicals in packaging,  c) establishing extended producer responsibility for electrical and electronic equipment, and for packaging, and d) ensuring public’s right to know through the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register.

12.  Ensure early ratification and implementation of major multilateral environmental and chemical agreements such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Minamata Convention on Mercury and the Basel Convention Ban Amendment.   

13.  Order the re-export of Canadian garbage back to its origin and initiate policy reforms to effectively block foreign waste dumping in the country, including ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment.