Calls for President Duterte to Keep Promises on Environmental Issues

Environmental Groups Urge ‘War on Waste’ in Philippines

Green groups in the Philippines, have urged President Rodrigo Duterte to wage a ‘War on Waste’ and pollution to protect public health and the environment a matter of national priority.

Green groups in Quezon City, the most populous city in the Philippines, have urged President Rodrigo Duterte (pictured above) to wage a ‘War on Waste’ and pollution to protect public health and the environment a matter of national priority.

The groups, , a broad alliance of Philippine environmental NGOs, called on the government to fast track the promulgation of policies, regulations and plans that it vowed to do to safeguard human health and the environment from the onslaught of wastes and pollutants.

The groups, including BAN Toxics, EcoWaste Coalition and Greenpeace represent the waste cluster of the Green Thumb Coalition (GTC), first joined forces in April 2016 when in response to a survey Duterte wrote: "these (survey responses) will be translated into a program of action with specific activities implemented and/or initiatives started in the first six months of the Duterte administration."

However, halfway into his first six months, the groups said that addressing waste issues does not seem to figure high among the administration's top priorities.

Among the issues cited were: solid waste and plastics pollution, thermal waste to energy facilities, pollution prevention, electronic waste and the Canada waste issue.

"Having laws that outline the country's waste pollution problems are not enough if serious implementation is lacking,” commented Abigail Aguilar, Greenpeace Detox Campaigner.

“Rather than curing the problem with stop-gap measures, we urge the Government of the Philippines to address pollution through prevention measures at source, such as a pollution disclosure policy required of industries,” she continued.

“Public access to information on industrial emissions not only identify problems at source, but also address the people's right to know. Similarly, looking into requiring closed-loop production of electronics would minimize negative effects on the informal waste sector by requiring manufacturers who profit the most to also take responsibility for the e-wastes generated," concluded Aguilar.

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