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Legarda on Ocean’s Month: Save Our Oceans from Plastic Pollution

May 29, 2019

In celebration of the “Month of Ocean” this May, Senator Loren Legarda called on national and local leaders and citizens to help save our oceans from plastic pollution by implementing and educating ecological solid waste management practices within households and communities.

Legarda said that the Month of Ocean is annually celebrated during the month of May by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 57, s. 1999 and that the theme for the 20th anniversary this year is “Free the Sea from Marine Debris,” which focuses on the issue of marine debris and its effects to coastal and marine resources.

“Our oceans are primary sources of air, food, livelihood, and wealth for us Filipinos and people across the globe. I appreciate that we have now strengthened our efforts to protect marine life and resources, but we need to urge our leaders and citizens a bit more to integrate ocean health protection into our consciousness and behavior,” Legarda said.

Legarda lauded the collaborative efforts to rehabilitate Boracay and Manila Bay, but also encouraged local leaders and communities to fully implement the Ecological Solid Waste Management (EWSM), adding that Philippine communities that are faithfully implementing the law have reported up to 80 percent waste diversion rate, which entails that much waste either recycled or composted.

Legarda noted the study by the Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, which reported that the Philippines is one of the top countries with plastic waste in the ocean, with 2.7 million metric tons of plastic waste and half a million metric tons of plastic-waste leakage per year.

Senator Legarda, who filed Senate Bill No. 1948 or the “Single-Use Plastics Regulation and Management Act,” also supported the campaign “Say No To Plastic Straws,” launched as one of the activities for this year’s Ocean’s Month to inspire citizens and establishments to use alternatives to plastic straws.

“Let this year’s celebration of Ocean’s Month be a reminder that protecting our ocean’s health is also protecting human health. May this further enable us to take action on sustainable management of our marine resources and ensuring that our oceans are free from plastic pollution,” Legarda concluded.