INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. called on Saturday, February 10, 2024, for the active participation of the local government units (LGU) in keeping the country clean by investing in programs, projects and activities on solid waste management and ecological practices.
During the Kalinga at Inisyatiba para sa Malinis na Bayan (Kalinisan) sa Bagong Pilipinas activity at Mega Dike in Barangay Dampalit, Malabon City, Abalos raised the need for proper waste disposal as he warned on the dangers of improper disposal of solid waste products.
"Hindi ba napakaganda kung ang isang bansa, pag-ikot mo ay walang basura?" Abalos said.
(Isn't it wonderful if a country, wherever you go, has no garbage?)
The Kalinisan sa Bagong Pilipinas program intends to uphold clean and green governance at barangay levels by promoting sustainable development and instilling the habit of cleanliness among residents to create livable communities.
In a statement, Abalos cited a study where it was found that in the provinces each person produces an estimated 0.3 kilos of waste per day, while each city resident was generating 0.7 kilos of waste per day.
“Ang masaklap dito, ayon sa World Bank Organization, 2.7 milyon na tonelada ay plastic. At ito’y napupunta sa mga tubig,” he said.
(The unfortunate thing here, according to the World Bank Organization, is that 2.7 million tons are plastic. And this ends up in the waters.)
Abalos said that the 2.7 million tons of plastic waste that end up in the ocean could spell disaster to marine life, especially on coral reefs, as they will stay there for the long haul since they are non-biodegradable.
He said tons of waste have been collected under the Kalinisan program since it was launched in Baseco in January.
“Napakarami na [ng basurang nakolekta], hindi ko na ma-measure yung dami nito. Nagsimula nga tayo sa Baseco, sumunod sa Caloocan, ngayon sa Malabon,” Abalos said.
(There's so much garbage [collected], I can't even measure its amount anymore. We started at Baseco, then moved to Caloocan, and now we're in Malabon.)
"Talagang tuloy-tuloy po ito, walang humpay linggo-linggo. Kasama niyo po ang mga local executives po rito, ang pamilya po ng DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government), ang DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources)," he added.
(This really continues incessantly, week after week. You have with you here the local executives, the family of the DILG, and the DENR.) (SunStar Philippines)