Message of Senator Loren Legarda: 25th Anniversary of the Mother Earth Foundation

June 18, 2024

Message of Senator Loren Legarda
25th Anniversary of the Mother Earth Foundation
June 13, 2024 6:00 PM | Atencio-Libunao Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City


My warmest greetings to the Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) on your 25th Anniversary, and congratulations to my fellow awardees of the MEF’s 25 Zero Waste Heroes. Today is a celebration of our collective journey towards stronger collaboration for environment preservation and climate action.

Mother Earth Foundation and I witnessed firsthand the impacts of improper waste management on our national landscape and local communities.

Single-use plastics contribute significantly to water pollution, resulting to blockages in sewerage and drainage systems that cause flooding and exacerbate the impacts of severe rainfall and typhoons.

Plastics directly threaten our food security, affecting farming and fishing communities. Microplastics entering our food chains also threaten our health.

One significant achievement in our partnership was the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Act of 2000. As the author and principal sponsor of this crucial legislation, we supported projects establishing Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) in various communities, including Barangay Neogan in Tagaytay and Barangay Potrero in Malabon. These initiatives marked the commencement of a transformative journey where we engaged with communities, educating them on waste segregation and other key aspects of ESWM.

We organized an ESWM workshop for barangay leaders and environmental officers in my home province of Antique to enhance their understanding and compliance with waste management practices at the grassroots level. Under the 2023 GAA, we provided support for ESWM programs in Navotas and Malabon.

Another collaboration was the “Stories for a Better Normal” webinar series during the pandemic, which aimed to shift mindsets, promote mental health, and inspire individuals and communities to embrace a more sustainable and resilient way of life.

I co-authored the Extended Producer Responsibility Act, targeting 2028 as the year at which 80% of the volume of plastics used by big producers in their products are retrieved and recycled.

I also principally authored the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) law, which is crucial for integrating the value of our finite natural resources into our national accounting system and enabling more informed environmental management decisions.

In the current Congress, we filed the Single-Use Plastics Regulation and Management bill to transition towards “minimal to no single-use plastics;” the proposed Philippine Circular Economy Promotion Act that seeks to promote the efficient use and reuse of resources already in the economy, minimizing losses and reducing dependence on extracting natural resources; the Zero Food Waste bill as part of our commitment to combating food wastage; and the Magna Carta for Waste Workers bill to safeguard the rights and well-being of waste workers, who play a vital role in ensuring proper collection, disposal, and recycling of waste materials.

Proper waste segregation and management require continuous education and commitment. We must continue to empower local communities by investing in education and infrastructure, including the establishment of Local Solid Waste Management Boards, submission of Solid Waste Management plans, establishment of MRFs at the barangay level, and closure of all open and controlled dumpsites.

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mother Earth Foundation and acknowledge MEF’s 25 Zero Waste Heroes, let us reflect on the journey we have traveled together, propelled by our shared commitment to safeguarding our planet for the generations that will inherit the world we leave behind.

Thank you for giving recognition to my lifelong advocacy of striving to create a resilient, sustainable, and zero-waste society for all. Isang Luntiang Pilipinas sa ating lahat!