Arroyo signs Solid Waste Management Act

Press release - January 26, 2001
The environmental group Greenpeace welcomed the enactment of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 during formal signing ceremonies led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Malacañang Palace today.

The environmental group Greenpeace welcomed the enactment of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 during formal signing ceremonies led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Malacañang Palace today.

Francis Dela Cruz, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Toxics Campaigner said, "The Act sets the correct policy direction that puts prime importance on efforts to avoid solid waste and reduce its volume by segregation, composting and recycling. The biggest challenge now is to match these words with actions."

The group called for the new government of President Macapagal-Arroyo to lead by example and immediately implement an ecological solid waste management program in Malacañang.

Greenpeace, likewise, criticized efforts by some government officials and interest groups to revoke the Clean Air Act's provision banning waste incineration. "If the government can afford to fast-track the construction of landfills and dumpsites, why not apply the same determination to the pursuit of the right solutions," according to Von Hernandez, Greenpeace Campaign Director for Southeast Asia.

A study [1] commissioned by Greenpeace estimates that if Metro Manila implements a genuine waste reduction program, the metropolis would be able to recycle and compost at least 30% of its projected waste in 2005, and 60% of the region's total waste by 2010. The amounts of waste going to recycling and composting also represent avoided costs of waste disposal, which could effectively translate into increased resources for other local government priorities.

"As long as our officials remain obsessed with quick-fixes, we will never break free from the waste crisis which has now become a periodic burden for our citizens. We hope that the Act will provide the impetus for government to innovate lasting solutions, anchored on ecological and democratically managed waste management programs that will put the garbage crisis into the dustbin of history," Hernandez added.

Notes: [1] "Wasting and Recycling in Metro Manila, " by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Washington. D.C., 2000, commissioned by Greenpeace Southeast Asia

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