Group pushes waste management to prevent floods

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Environmental health group EcoWaste Coalition is reiterating its call to the public for ecological solid waste management in Metro Manila to prevent floods. “We all know that Metro Manila is vulnerable to flooding due to its inherent geographical characteristics that are aggravated by other factors such as the recklessly thrown garbage clogging up the inadequate urban drainage system,” said Jove Benosa, zero waste campaigner.

EcoWaste cited government data from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), which showed that over 30 truckloads of garbage are collected daily from the 57 pumping stations operating all over the metropolis.

“While we cannot do much to alter the region’s geography, we can surely help in mitigating the floods by preventing plastics and other discards, including COVID-related waste such as used face masks, from spilling into the storm drains and waterways,” Benosa said.

The group stressed that the strict observance of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, in every household and community will avoid garbage from being produced, littered and dumped in streets, vacant lots, esteros and rivers.

“The honest-to-goodness implementation of waste separation at source, recycling, reusing and composting will not only mitigate flooding woes, but also curb leptospirosis, dengue and other water-borne diseases during the rainy season,” Benosa said.

He called on local government units to penalize those who “recklessly throw their trash anywhere without any sense of guilt or shame.”

RA 9003 bans the dumping of waste materials in streets, canals, esteros and other public places and penalizes such offenses with a fine of P300 to P1,000, community service ranging from one to 15 days or both.

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