BAGUIO CITY– The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) discouraged concerned government agencies, local governments and pro-environment organizations and local residents from conducting tree planting activities at the height of the onslaught of the El Niño phenomenon but instead encouraged stakeholders to be involved in equally important events designed to preserve and protect the environment.
In his letter to Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, EMB-CAR officer-in-charge Reynaldo S. Digamo suggested that instead of the traditional tree planting activities which has been part of the Earth Day celebration worldwide, concerned stakeholders must now venture on other equally important events to celebrate Earth Day this year because of the peculiar situation where the El Niño phenomenon is currently prevailing that might affect the growth of the trees that will be planted.
Although the theme of the Earth Day celebration this year is “Trees for the Earth. Let’s Get Planting,” Digamo explained most parts of the country are currently experiencing the serious negative effects of the prolonged drought aggravated by the summer season that is why the young tree seedlings and saplings that will be planted might not grow due to the absence of sufficient supply of water that will allow the planted trees to survive.
As an alternative event, the EMB-CAR recommended that activities lined up for the celebration of Earth Day should include a Recyclable Collection Event (RCE) will be done within the areas of jurisdiction of the EMB-CAR office in Pacdal and other local government units in the different parts of the region to help reduce the huge volume of wastes being discharged into the environment and lessen the possibility of air and water pollution.
According to Digamo, the RCE in Baguio City, which will be held at the EMB-CAR regional office compound, will be a spontaneous one-day buying and collection event for recyclable materials to promote year-round recycling or waste segregation or waste reduction and materials recovery.
Digamo cited recyclables which can be sold in the proposed RCEs include newspapers and cartons, scrap glass, used tires, aluminium cans, junked electronics or electrical equipment, used printer ink and toner cartridges, and used PET bottles and other plastics. It was learned that as part of the Earth Day celebration last year, an RCE was conducted where a total of 822.3 kilos of paper equivalent to 14 trees were saved.
Digamo revealed the aforesaid amount of paper has saved a 2.47 cubic meters space in the sanitary landfill and with the said contribution to the RCE, it will greatly help the environment in diverting still useful materials from the landfills and unto the hands of the recycling industry. He appealed to the general public to actively participate in the conduct of RCEs in their respective places for them to be able to contribute in significantly reducing the volume of wastes being dumped into the different garbage facilities and help in the further utilization of useful wastes that would spare the environment from further damage.
The EMB-CAR official recommended to the concerned government agencies and local governments to frequently conduct similar events year round so that the general public will be enticed to cooperate in efforts to reduce the volume of waste being dumped into solid waste disposal facilities./Dexter A. See