Paje appeals to parents to teach children on proper waste segregation

With almost all kids now on summer vacation, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje is urging parents to make an effort of teaching their children on proper waste segregation.

“Throughout the year, our children get educated by teachers.  This summer vacation, I urge parents to take over and teach their children household chores, including the proper way of segregating household garbage,” Paje said.

“In fact, parents or the older children could come up with creative ways to make waste segregation fun and even income-generating by selling collected empty bottles and old newspapers and magazines to the neighborhood junk shop,”  Paje added.

Paje made the appeal as the agency begins its heightened campaign against the mounting garbage problem in Metro Manila by intensifying its information and education campaign with the distribution of easy-to-understand campaign materials in barangays in Metro Manila.  “As the family is the most basic unit of the society, it is but a must for proper ecological solid waste management to start at the households,” said Paje.

The DENR recently launched a number of information materials on solid waste management at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Mandaluyong City, where Metro Manila’s local environment officers  pledged to farm out the materials to households, in coordination with barangay officials.

During the launch, some 5,000 copies of “Ecological Solid Waste Management for Households,” “Makakalikasang Pamamaraan ng Pamamahala sa Basura,” “Bawasan Ang Basurang Itatapon: Magsegregate,” “Solid Waste Management Made Easy," and  “Proper Segregation of Solid Waste,” were distributed to the participants, including the 12-page “Basura Monster” coloring book written by TV news personality Christine Bersola-Babao.

“We hope that we could even more effectively manage our wastes at home as we have made the information materials easy to understand as our primary goal is to make solid waste management understandable to all, even by little children,” Paje stressed.

Paje also called upon local executives to reproduce the materials as a step to widen and speed up the circulation of the printed materials within their respective constituencies.  The move came at the heels of studies made by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) showing that Metro Manila’s daily waste generation (DWG) has risen to 8,746 tons from 8,400 tons in 2010.  

“With almost a 24-percent share in the national daily waste generation of 35,000 tons in 2010, getting 15.5 million residents of Metro Manila to segregate their waste ‘at source’ or at household level will definitely have a cascading impact on the overall effort in transforming our people into a nation of into environmentally-proactive, environmentally-concerned citizens of the land,” Paje stressed.

This point was supported by MMDA General Manager Corazon Jimenez who said that the DENR’s intensified campaign for mandatory segregation shores up MMDA’s efforts to bring down Metro Manila’s daily waste generation by 50 percent. 


DENR leads launching of National Year of Forests

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), with partners in the academe and civil society, will be officially launched tomorrow  (April 27) the “National Year of Forests” (NYF) at the Makiling Botanic Gardens in Los Baños, Laguna.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, who also sits as NYF chair, said the launching is an offshoot of Presidential Proclamation No. 125 signed by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III last March 15 as the  country’s  way of lending its support to the United Nations (UN) declaration of  2011 as the International Year of  Forests (IYF). 

With IYF’s theme, Forests for People, Paje said the declaration underscores the paramount importance that forests play in the survival of the human race.  “It is a synergistic relationship, forests provide benefits to man.  Man must care for forests to continue being recipient of its benefits,” he said.

In the proclamation order, President Aquino said the declaration of 2011 as NYF is in support of the government’s five-year reforestation program “National Greening Program.”

“With Executive Orders 23 and 26, the Aquino Administration has made good strides in improving its green agenda. Proclamation 125 is an opportunity for President Aquino to highlight its resolve to move ahead in writing a new, brighter chapter in Philippine environmentalism,” Paje said. 

EO 23 bans logging in natural forests while EO 26 declares the implementation of the National Greening Program.  The presidential proclamation of NYF also called for the creation of the NYF Steering Committee, Technical Working Group and Secretariat and called on all agencies of the executive branch, including the private and public sectors, to take part in NYF-related activities.

Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco of the University of The Philippines At Los Banos (UPLB) opened the rites, with remarks stressing the need for action at all levels to be given by Filipino wildlife conservation advocate Kim Atienza, Kazuyuki Tsurumi of the UN-Food and Agriculture Organization and representatives for the Community-based Management Federation. 

The program proper was preceded by mountain trek-trail-running-bikathon event within the botanic garden, an early morning food gala dubbed “Pamahaw sa Gubat” alongside a free “Hagubahob” concert in the forest. 
Poster making contest, photo exhibit/contest and drawing sessions with environment-advocate visual artists Robert Alejandro also highlighted the preceding events.  


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