ANGELES CITY -- Various non-government organizations in Pampanga have agreed to unite in a bid to protect the environment.

The environment groups agreed to pressure the government (both local and national) to implement environmental laws including Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act), Republic Act 8749 (Clean Air Act), and Republic Act 9275 (Clean Water Act), among others.

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The Green Youth Brigade, which is composed of students and out of school youth, initiated an environmental forum held at the Spencer’s Restaurant in Barangay Balibago here on Monday.

Environmental groups including the Koalisyon Para Sa Kalinisan ng Kapaligiran, Save Sapang Balen Movement, Save The Trees, among others attended the said event.

Former city councilor Louie Reyes, leader of the Green Youth Brigade, said there is a growing concern on the issue of global warming and climate change.

People are becoming aware of the importance of the environment, Reyes added. “We have remembered this through typhoon Ondoy."

“On local issues particularly here in Angeles City, we have the Sagip Sapang Balen creek initiated by [Auxiliary] Bishop [Pablo Virgilio] ‘Ambo’ David, parish priest of Holy Rosary Church,” he said.

The Green Youth Brigade is committed to help the bishop in his program to rehabilitate the Sapang Balen creek here, Reyes added.

“We are inspired by what Bishop Ambo initiated. We are certainly supporting him. He is very sincere. There are other groups supporting him. Bishop Ambo is standing up and he is doing something about it,” Reyes said.

During the forum, the environmental groups signed a manifesto of support to the youth brigade.

The youth group is urging the City Government here and Provincial Government of Pampanga to implement the solid waste management law particularly waste segregation.

They are also asking the local government units to clean the river beds and creeks in their respective jurisdictions.

The group is also advocating for the ban of plastics in groceries, supermarkets, convenience stores among other establishments.

The environment groups also committed to protect the trees along the MacArthur Highway in Angeles City, City of San Fernando and other parts of Pampanga.

Another concern brought up during the forum is the regulation of poultry and piggery farms in Angeles City, City of San Fernando, Porac town and other parts of the province.

Meanwhile, the Save Sapang Balen Movement warned that it will file charges before the Green Court against polluting firms leaking effluent into the creek.

Bishop David earlier warned of legal actions versus commercial establishments lying along Sapang Balen.(Reynaldo G. Navales)