BAGUIO CITY – With the theme, “Sustaining shared responsibility in solid waste management through convergence,” regional and local executives, environment officers and concerned individuals came together during the three-day summit last week, here in the city.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan who welcomed the delegates focused on individual and community efforts in preserving the environment, through regular clean-ups and re-greening. Abuse and destruction of the environment somehow result to cruel retaliation to inhabitants, sometimes claiming innocent lives, the mayor said.
Environment officials need to be empowered within their areas of responsibility to fully implement laws on environmental protection, he added.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR) Regional Director Ralph Pablo talked about coming together for updating each other, within the community and beyond, for a “cleaner and healthier” environment. The endeavor is a “shared responsibility,” with the cooperation of all sectors, including the government, and experts’ strategy for an environmental positive change. We need to connect people with nature, he noted.
Jacqueline Caancan, In-charge, Office of the Director and concurrent Assistant Director, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) spoke about renewed vigor and commitment in protecting the environment through education and awareness campaigns. Clean air through monitoring and alternative fuels; water quality improvement through community partnerships; waste segregation and the proper use of Materials Recovery Facility; good and innovative practices; and ecological centers would be the focus of environmental battles, she said.
Technical and financial support for the mitigation of climate change is also on focus, Caancan added, through linkages with agencies.
OIC EMB-CAR RD Reynaldo Digamo stressed on CAR’s performance as to the 77 local government units’ compliance to the 10-year solid waste programs. All have submitted regionwide, with 34 approved, and the rest are re-planned, Digamo said.
Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management, Local Government and Indigenous People’s Concerns Noel Felongco, asked for cooperation of all sectors with the Duterte administration for a better waste management. New habits are needed, with aspirations as models for change, he also said.
Part of the program is the sharing of best practices; Disaster and Risk Reduction Management in La Trinidad, Benguet as delivered by Yoshio Labi; the Bantay Basura program in La Trinidad, Benguet; Clean, Green and Bloom program for Benguet; Baguio Philippine Economic Zone Authority; and a presentation on alternative technologies for solid waste management.
Indigenous and recycled materials were also displayed at the venue. /Julie G. Fianza