Calamba City, Laguna - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON joins the Environmental Management Bureau CALABARZON in the launch of the National Plan of Action for the prevention, reduction, and management of Marine Litter (NPOA-ML) and the Environmental Summit this July 14, 2022. 

According to a study conducted by the World Bank Group (2021), the Philippines is classified as 3rd of the main contributors of mismanaged plastic waste that ends up in our waters. EMB CALABARZON Regional Director Noemi Paranada emphasized that the regional launch of the NPOA-ML shall serve as a  nationwide call for the prevention and reduction of waste at source to curb the problems of improper solid waste management (swm), as well as air and water pollution.

In addition, Regional SWM Coordinator Corazon Gasapos urged the National Government Agencies (NGAs), Local Government Units (LGUs), and all partner organizations to step out of their comfort zones. She emphasized that understanding the concepts of the NPOA-ML and other relevant policies are necessary for its smooth implementation.

The Natural Solid Waste Management Commission issued Resolution No 1441 last 2021 for the adoption of the National Plan of Action. The NPOA-ML shall be a collaborative effort among LGUs, NGAs, and other relevant stakeholders. One of its goals is to raise the current efforts on waste management to further reduce wastes and other marine litter issues in the country. The goal of the NPOA-ML is to achieve “zero waste to Philippine waters by 2040” to support the vision, “A Philippine free of marine litter through shared responsibility, accountability and participatory governance.”

Aside from partner NGAs, LGUs, and private stakeholders, DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations for Luzon, Visayas and Environment Atty. Juan Miguel Cuna expressed his support for this initiative.

Moreover, the EMB CALABARZON also awarded partners and LGUs with outstanding implementation of the RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Act of 2000. “Behind the beauty of these practices are the perseverance and commitment of each and everyone of us”, Regional SWM Gasapos expressed as she gave her appreciation to the chosen LGUs.

LGUs of Mauban, Quezon; Mendez, Cavite; Tagkawayan, Quezon; Liliw and Kalayaan, Laguna; and Calatagan, Batangas are awarded for their exemplary practice in Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) operations. In addition, LGUs of Carmona, Cavite; Atimonan, Quezon; Santa Cruz, Laguna; and Teresa, Rizal are recognized for their composting operations, while Biñan, Laguna and Brgy. Briza in Teresa, Rizal are recognized for their upcycling and crafts production. 

Further, private partner organizations as well as industrial parks are also awarded and recognized for their valuable implementation and support for the ESWM. 

“Although we acknowledge the Mandamus Agencies and our partner LGUs in the implementation of the ESWM Act, we are still faced with the looming problems of both solid and liquid waste. As we launch our NPOA-ML, let us use this as our guide in improving our responsiveness to marine litter that threatens our country’s waters”, added Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamorira

“We know that the battle for SWM and marine litter is far from over, so we challenge you to be part of the change”, urged RED Tamoria. “Be your own environmental champions. Let us look beyond usual activities in battling SWM, we should initiate new and out-of-the box initiatives to keep our communities engaged and to elicit public participation and behavioral change within our communities” he added. ###