Public warned anew against burning trash
- Katherine Adraneda () - March 2, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Waste and pollution watchdog EcoWaste Coalition yesterday urged the public to refrain from burning their trash because it poses danger to the environment, as well as the health and safety of the people. It is also illegal under existing laws.

EcoWaste president Manny Calonzo said open garbage burning, even in small quantities, could get out of control and cause residential and bush fires, especially during the long dry spell due to El Niño.

EcoWaste, which advocates “Zero Waste for Zero Warming,” is supporting the Bureau of Fire Protection’s advocacy to prevent fires, especially during March, which is fire prevention month.

“Burning of trash could only worsen the smoldering heat of summer,” noted Calonzo. “Not only that, burning of grass, rice straw, and other agricultural residues can pose hazards to motorists, especially those traveling in our expressways - NLEX, SCTEX, SLEX - because of impaired or reduced visibility due to the smoke.”

The group also said open burning could trigger or aggravate serious respiratory ailments and is most detrimental to the health of small children, pregnant women, the elderly and people suffering from chemical sensitivities and respiratory conditions.

Nueva Vizcaya under state of calamity

Meanwhile, the province of Nueva Vizcaya has been placed under a state of calamity due to the worsening dry spell which had already destroyed millions worth of agricultural crops.

The whole of Cagayan Valley, the country’s leading corn and rice-producing region, is now under a state of calamity as a result of El Niño which is predicted to last until June.

The provincial board of Bayombong passed a resolution declaring a state of calamity throughout the province, which has so far incurred more than P400 million in agricultural damage.

Vice Gov. Jose Gambito said they have approved the release of P22 million from the province’s calamity fund for the implementation of both immediate and long-term measures aimed at cushioning the impact of the dry spell.

“The effects of the dry spell were felt most in rain-fed areas, including those in the uplands, from where the province as well as the region get their vegetable requirements,” he said.

Besides providing pump wells, Gambito said they would also give fuel assistance, seeds, fertilizers and other farm items as immediate mitigating measures.

Meanwhile, the Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese through Archbishop Socrates Villegas has asked parishioners to pray the “Oratio Imperata to deliver us from drought” during holy Masses.

The Oratio Imperata is a prayer asking God through the intercession of San Isidro, the patron saint of farmers, to protect all land tillers from catastrophic drought, and to preserve and increase the fields and flocks.

The Oratio Imperata will be an obligatory prayer after post communion prayer, Villegas said. — With Eva Visperas and Charlie Lagasca

ARCHBISHOP SOCRATES VILLEGAS BUREAU OF FIRE PROTECTION CAGAYAN VALLEY EL NI JOSE GAMBITO LINGAYEN-DAGUPAN ARCHDIOCESE MANNY CALONZO NUEVA VIZCAYA ORATIO IMPERATA SAN ISIDRO VICE GOV
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