EcoWaste Coalition Appeals for Fast Delivery of Adequate ECQ “Ayuda” to Informal Waste Workers in NCR Plus

5 April 2021, Quezon City. An environmental organization has appealed to national and local government authorities to be responsive to the special needs of workers belonging to the informal waste sector (IWS) with the extension until April 11 of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces amid the unabated rise in COVID-19 cases.

“Members of the IWS are among those hardest hit by the COVD-19 lockdowns because of the restrictions on movements that disallow them from going door to door or roaming the streets to recover recyclable materials from waste,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.  “Women in the IWS face extra challenges due to household chores and their heavy responsibilities as mothers, wives and workers,” she added.

“With their work further disrupted due to the extended ECQ in the NCR Plus, informal waste workers who are daily wage earners will need rapid and adequate assistance to enable them to meet their basic human survival needs,” she said.
“While cash or in-kind assistance will not replace daily loss of earnings, the much anticipated ‘ayuda’ in this difficult period will help in improving the dire conditions for individuals and families in the IWS,” she pointed out.

“Even those who may already be receiving assistance through the 4Ps will still need extra money to meet their essential  needs,” she added.  4Ps is the government-run Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program that provides conditional cash grants to poor families.

According to the National Framework Plan for the Informal Sector in Solid Waste Management, the IWS covers “individuals, families, groups or small enterprises engaged in the recovery of waste materials either on a full-time or part-time basis with revenue generation as the motivation.”

As noted in the said framework plan, “IWS workers contribute to positive economic impacts on the overall solid waste management,” handl(ing) large volumes of waste materials at practically no cost to the government or taxpayers.”

“We trust national and local authorities will act with dispatch to ensure the speedy delivery of assistance to the IWS amid the continuing pandemic,” said Lucero. "It’s the least we can do to show our appreciation to the unsung IWS frontliners in the recovery of post-consumer waste in our communities,” she concluded.