Waste treatment facility urgently needed in Boracay
By Catherine Teves
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — An official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said there is an urgent need to put up a waste treatment facility in Boracay Island and warned that only about a third of the estimated 100 tons of trash generated there daily gets hauled to mainland Aklan for disposal.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Rod Garcia said trash cannot continue accumulating in Boracay since this will further endanger public health and worsen pollution in the world-famous resort island.
“Hopefully, local authorities concerned can put up an appropriate facility during Boracay’s six-month closure this year,” he said Sunday (April 22) on the sidelines of the agency’s 2018 Earth Day celebration in Metro Manila.
If that is not feasible, he said they must strive to have the facility as soon as possible and must also ensure continuous hauling of Boracay’s trash while there is still no waste treatment facility in the island.
“Hauling will continue until Boracay has a waste treatment facility,” he said.
He noted that under RA 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000), local government units are responsible for waste in respective areas of jurisdiction.
Boracay Island will be closed for six months beginning Thursday (April 26) to pave way for its clean-up and rehabilitation.
The DENR and other agencies are involved in the work which aims to prevent further environmental degradation in Boracay.
Addressing Boracay’s garbage problem is among the work’s priorities for adversely affecting the environment and public health, noted Garcia.
“Solid waste ranks very high among those priorities,” he said. Garcia clarified that the clean-up and rehabilitation work in the island won’t be limited to the closure period. “We can go beyond six months if necessary,” he said.
Earth Day 2018
Celebrated every April 22, Earth Day this year has the theme “End Plastic Pollution”.
The DENR said the Philippines’ 2018 Earth Day celebration supports the international campaign for solid waste management (SWM) to help end plastics pollution.
Under RA 9003, SWM is “the discipline associated with the control of generation, storage, collection, transfer and transport, processing, and disposal of solid wastes in a manner that is in accord with the best principles of public health, economics, engineering, conservation, aesthetics, and other environmental considerations, and that is also responsive to public attitudes”.
Proclamation 1481 series of 2008 declared April 22 of every year as Earth Day in the Philippines. On the same date in 1970, millions of people in the US marked the first Earth Day by protesting negative impacts the environment suffered from 150 years of industrial development.
Earth Day became a global event in 1990. (PNA)