Public warned: Avoid open burning on All Souls’ Day-A A +A
Thursday, October 25, 2012
AS PART of the preparations for All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day next week, the public has been warned against burning garbage inside the cemeteries.
The EcoWaste Coalition and the Philippine College of Chest Physicians issued a joint reminder that it would be both unlawful and unhealthy to burn garbage from the clearing of tombs.
In remembering the departed on Nov. 1 and 2, people are expected to repaint tombs, prune trees and clear garbage.
Among the discards commonly produced are grass clippings, plant cuttings, downed or pruned tree limbs and branches and other organics, paint cans, thinner and varnish containers, soiled newspaper, plastic bags, bottles and other disposable items, food wrappers and cigarette butts.
“We call upon the general public, particularly the tomb caretakers and cleaners, not to set post-cleanup discards ablaze because doing so is both illegal and unhealthy. We also appeal to cemetery administrators to firmly enforce the ban,” said Christina Vergara, zero waste campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
Both Republic Act 8749, or the Clean Air Act of 1999, and Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, ban the open burning of garbage.
Section 13, Rule XXV of RA 8749’s implementing rules and regulations states that “no person shall be allowed to burn any materials in any quantities, which shall cause the emission of toxic and poisonous fumes,” while Section 48 of RA 9003 prohibits “the open burning of solid waste.”
“The ban on open burning in two landmark environmental laws is a clear indicator of the critical importance of such a prohibition for public health and welfare,” she said.
The groups warned that open burning would bring health-damaging pollutants into the air, including particulate matter, dioxins and furans, lead, mercury and other heavy metals, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, halogenated carbons and volatile organic compounds.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 25, 2012.