Go back to basics to save the earth, public urged

BAGUIO CITY — Going back to basics by using traditional packaging materials and avoiding plastics can help save the environment, the chief of the Environment and Management Bureau in the Cordillera Administrative Region said on Wednesday.

In a forum at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources here, Reynaldo Digamo said that if the people want to save the environment, they need to go back to basics: reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Republic Act 9003, also known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, promotes a more acceptable system that follows the vision of sustainable development. It encourages residents all over the country to cut down on the use of plastics and shift to materials with the three “Rs”. This refers to things, which can be reduced, reused, and recycled.

The law also aims to merge environmental protection with economic pursuits. It also recognizes the re-orientation of the community’s view on solid waste. It likewise provides a scheme for waste minimization, reduction in volume, resource recovery utilization, and disposal.

Digamo said he is hopeful that the public will get used to not using any kind of plastic in the city.

“Naging convenient na kasi ang usage ng plastic sa atin, so nung na-implement yung ordinance, nagkaroon ng resistance (The use of plastic has become very convenient to us. This is why there was a little resistance from some sectors, when the ordinance was implemented),” he said.

EMB has been very supportive of the implementation of Baguio City’s plastic ordinance, although they do not have supervisory authority over the local government units.

Digamo mentioned that aside from Baguio, the towns of La Trinidad in Benguet, Lamut in Ifugao, and some other areas in Apayao province have already passed ordinances banning the use of plastic.

“We can always link with the Department of Interior and Local Government to connect us with the LGUs, since they have the mandate and supervision over them,” he said.

He added the EMB and the DENR as a whole gives liberty to the different local legislative bodies to craft their own ordinances that is in line with their direction.

He reiterated that LGUs are responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of the ordinances they have within their respective jurisdictions and the DENR can give technical support for a more sustainable and proper implementation of the plastic ban.

Digamo also pointed out that the passage of ordinances banning the use of plastic is a welcome development and the agency recognizes these as major contributors to the protection of the environment. Pamela Mariz Geminiano/PNA-northboundasia.com