(SALUTATIONS)

PEOPLE CHEERED WHEN THE ECOLOGICAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT OF 2000 WAS SIGNED INTO LAW // BY PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO. // MANY HAD HIGH HOPES // THAT // OUR COUNTRY’S GARBAGE PROBLEMS WILL FINALLY BE SOLVED. //

BUT THIS LAW, // THE REPUBLIC ACT 9003, // WAS NEITHER PROMPTLY // NOR FULLY ENFORCED. // WHEN I WAS APPOINTED SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES IN 2017, // I IMMEDIATELY MADE SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT A TOP PRIORITY, // GIVEN THAT WE HAVE SO MUCH CATCHING UP TO DO. //

EARLIER, // WE SHOWED A VIDEO THAT HIGHLIGHTS OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. // I AM HONORED TO REPORT THAT WE HAVE GAINED SIGNIFICANT GROUND, // SINCE 2018, // IN IMPLEMENTING THE ECOLOGICAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT OF 2000, // PARTICULARLY IN THE CLOSURE OF OPEN DUMPSITES, // THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MATERIALS RECOVERY FACILITIES, // AND HELPING LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS // DEVELOP THEIR 10-YEAR SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLANS. //

AS SEEN IN THE VIDEO, // WE WERE ABLE TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF OPERATING DUMPSITES // AND INCREASED THE NUMBER OF SANITARY LANDFILLS // BY THE END OF 2020. // WE ARE REVIEWING THE IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS OF RA 9003 // TO MAKE WAY // FOR BETTER AND BIGGER SANITARY LANDFILLS. //

MEANWHILE, // OUR ACTION AGAINST OPEN DUMPSITES HAS BEEN RELENTLESS. // THUS, // I COMMEND THE EFFORTS OF UNDERSECRETARY BENNY D. ANTIPORDA, // MY ALTERNATE CHAIR IN THE NATIONAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT COMMISSION, // IN SPEARHEADING THE CLOSURE OF OPEN DUMPSITES IN BATAAN, // PAMPANGA, // AND JUST 2 WEEKS AGO, // IN TANZA, CAVITE. //

HIS AGGRESSIVE YET DECISIVE MOVE IS BEING FOLLOWED BY OUR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU REGIONAL DIRECTORS NATIONWIDE. // KAYA AS OF YESTERDAY AT 7PM, // REPORT THAT REACHED OUR OFFICE INDICATED THAT WE HAVE THUS FAR CLOSED A TOTAL OF 38
OPEN DUMPSITES IN THE REGIONS. //

HINDI NYO NAKITA ANG UPDATED FIGURE NA YAN SA VIDEO // DAHIL FRESH NA FRESH PA ANG REPORT NA ‘YAN. // THE REPORT ALSO STATES THAT REGION 4B WAS ABLE TO CLOSE
17 DUMPSITES // WHILE REGION 6 WAS ABLE TO CLOSE 5. // MAJORITY OF THE REGIONS WERE ABLE TO CLOSE 2
DUMPSITES EACH. //

THERE ARE REGIONS THAT MAY HAVE MISSED THE REPORTING DEADLINE // BUT I PRESUME // THAT THEY WERE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH NAMAN THIS TASK. // CONGRATULATIONS TO THE REGIONS FOR A JOB WELL DONE! // AGAIN, // FOLLOWING THE MOVE OF USEC ANTIPORDA, // OUR EMB RDs WILL CONTINUOUSLY UNDERTAKE CLOSURE OF OPEN DUMPSITES // WITHIN THEIR RESPECTIVE AREAS OF JURISDICTION. //

AND THIS IS MY DIRECTIVE TO THEM: // ALL OPEN DUMPSITES MUST BE CLOSED // BY END OF MARCH THIS YEAR! // (Pause)

AND TO PROVE HOW SERIOUS WE ARE, // THE NSWMC HELD A PUBLIC CONSULTATION LAST FRIDAY, // JANUARY 22, // REGARDING THE LIST OF THE NON-ENVIRONMENTALLY ACCEPTABLE PRODUCTS AND PACKAGING. // THOUGH WE ARE EXPERIENCING HEAVY RESISTANCE FROM THE PLASTIC INDUSTRY, // WE WILL STILL PUSH THROUGH // IN COMING UP // WITH A LIST OF NON-ENVIRONMENTALLY ACCEPTABLE PRODUCTS AND PACKAGING. //

WE WILL MAKE SURE // THAT NON-ENVIRONMENTALLY ACCEPTABLE PRODUCTS AND PACKAGING // WILL NOT BE LEFT BEHIND // IN THE WASTE MANAGEMENT OF OUR COUNTRY. //

DESPITE OUR SIGNIFICANT GAINS, // A GREAT DEAL REMAINS TO BE DONE, // BECAUSE OUR VOLUME OF WASTE GENERATION CONTINUES TO GROW. // WE MUST STOP THIS TREND! //

GOING FORWARD, // WE AIM TO BUILD STRONGER COLLABORATION WITH THE CIVIL SOCIETY // TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT, // WHILE ENCOURAGING THE PARTICIPATION OF ALL STAKEHOLDERS
// IN REDUCING THE VOLUME OF PLASTIC WASTES GENERATION. //

I HOPE, TOO, // THAT OUR LOCAL EXECUTIVES REALIZE // HOW IMPORTANT THE ROLE THEY PLAY // IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RA 9003. // KAYO ANG ISA SA MGA PANGUNAHING SUSI // SA PAGSULONG NG BATAS PATUNGKOL SA WASTONG PAMAMAHALA NG BASURA // SA ATING BANSA. //

THE MANAGEMENT OF WASTES IS NOT THE EXCLUSIVE DUTY OF THE GOVERNMENT, // BUT OF EVERYONE. // EVERY FILIPINO SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR TAKING GOOD CARE OF OUR ENVIRONMENT. //

IN ANTICIPATION OF EVERYONE’S COOPERATION, // I SAY, // “MARAMING SALAMAT PO, // AT PATULOY NATING PAGTULUNGAN // NA MAISULONG ANG RA 9003 SA ATING MAHAL NA BANSA // DAHIL - IKAW, // AKO, // TAYO ANG KALIKASAN!” // MABUHAY! //