Barangay, SK candidates urged to address environmental issues

Published April 15, 2018, 12:17 PM

by iManila Developer

By Chito Chavez

With the start of the filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COC) for the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election, an environmental group urged the candidates to take up the cudgels on behalf of Mother Earth.

“We need grassroots leaders who will inspire and guide our communities to the cause of environmental conservation and protection and make sure that our ‘common home’ is cared for,” said Daniel Alejandre, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.


“As front liners of public service, Barangay and SK leaders have a huge responsibility in making our neighborhoods clean, healthy and safe for everyone, especially for children who are most vulnerable to harm and illness,” he pointed out.

Aledandre stressed that the nation needs public servants who will help the local government unit (LGU) enforce environmental laws and regulations “that seek to protect our air, water, soil and our people against damaging and polluting activities.”

One of these laws is Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which emphasizes waste prevention, volume reduction, segregation at source, recycling and composting through the adoption of “best environmental practices in ecological solid waste management excluding incineration.”

As stated in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP for 2017-2022), “LGU compliance with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act has been low and majority of local areas are still unserved by solid waste management (SWM)facilities or materials recovery facilities (MRFs).”

According to the PDP, only 31.28 percent of barangays are covered by SWM facilities and 30.92 percent by MRFs below the 2016 targets of 67.39 percent and 77.10 percent, respectively.”

R.A. 9003 requires the establishment of MRFs or ecology centers in every barangay or cluster of barangays “to receive, sort, process and store compostable and recyclable materials efficiently and in an environmentally sound manner.”

“These MRFs have the potential to boost community-driven ecological waste management that will reduce hauling costs, conserve resources, prevent spillage of plastics to water bodies, and foster environmental values among the people,” Alejandre said.

“We hope that those running for the May 14 Barangay and SK polls do recognize the importance of enforcing R.A. 9003 in their localities and their role to get the law implemented,” he added.

The Quezon City based EcoWaste Coalition expressed its hope that contenders will address garbage and other pressing environmental concerns in their electoral platforms, and that voters will support pro-Mother Earth candidates at the ballot box come polling day.

Last Friday, the group launched its campaign for waste-free Barangay and SK elections outside the headquarters of the Commission on Elections and in the presence of Commissioner Luie Tito Guia.

“As actions speak louder than words, we urge candidates to campaign in a manner that will not misuse resources, dirty the surroundings and cause damage to community health and environment,” the group said.