Legarda Echoes DOH Call to Clear Trash in Disaster-Hit Areas; Reiterates Call for Waste Management Law Implementation

January 6, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today echoed the call of the Department of Health (DOH) to immediately finish the clean-up of garbage and other debris in Yolanda-affected areas to prevent diseases.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, noted the DOH’s warning that the uncollected garbage in areas hit by typhoon Yolanda may attract bacteria-carrying organisms that could bring diseases.

“This is yet another challenge in our post-disaster management strategies. We cannot place lives at risk again due to the health hazards posed by piles of garbage lying on the streets of areas affected by the super typhoon. Solid waste management should always be central in our recovery and rehabilitation plans,” said Legarda as she also reiterated her call for strict implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (R.A. 9003), which she authored.

The Senator said that implementing an effective solid waste management plan in typhoon-hit areas could be less challenging if LGUs have already been faithfully implementing the law.

“It would be easier to manage waste materials after disasters if we already practice waste segregation, recycling, composting, processing, and treatment. Solid waste management should be part of every household’s daily routine and every community’s development plan,” Legarda stressed.

“Our citizens must demand that their local government implement a genuine solid waste management system in accordance with the law. This is within their right since LGUs are primarily responsible for implementing RA 9003. Segregation and collection of solid waste shall be conducted at the barangay level for biodegradable, compostable and reusable waste and the municipality or city is responsible for collecting non-recyclable materials and special waste,” she added.

“We also have to learn personal responsibility for our own garbage and choose the right items that can be recycled. When solid waste management has become a part of our life, we lessen the factors that contribute to aggravating disasters and the management of post-disaster waste would likewise be less difficult,” Legarda concluded.