Civil society and academic groups and a local government official in Ormoc City said including only two single-use items, the plastic straws and stirrers in the list of Non-Environmentally Acceptable Products and Packaging (NEAPP) is not enough to address the mounting problem plastic pandemic in the country.
“While this is a much welcome development, considering that this mandate has been sitting for 2 decades, banning straws and stirrers alone is not enough. Our time is running out, we need to stop the plastic pollution at source. Our oceans are wallowing in plastics. We cannot and should not wait for another 20 years to ban single-use plastics nationwide” said Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Oceana Vice President.
The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) held public consultations the past two weeks on the Findings of and Assessment Conducted on Certain Products for Inclusion in the List of NEAPP.
In a position paper, Oceana Philippines International, the local government of Ormoc City, Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines, Ecowaste Coalition and 40 other civil society groups listed the proposed top 10 single-use products for inclusion in the NEAPP.
The youth groups attended the consultation and voiced their stake on the plastic pollution that threatens the planet where they and the future generation will live in. They posted placards on their monitor to express their position to include the top 10 plastic polluters in the NEAPP list and release this as soon as possible. (photos in the attached file)
“With the worsening of the climate crisis, we can’t respond to environmental concerns with the current speed we are doing right now. The turtle-pace formation of the NEAPP list shows the lack of urgency and sincerity of the DENR and other members of the Commission to actually address the problem. We, the youth - with our future at stake, stand firm in our call to expand and release the NEAPP list now!” Xian Guevarra of Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines said.
The groups strongly recommend the inclusion of the following in the NEAPP list:
The list was drawn from the NSWMC Resolution No. 1363 (Series of 2020) on the unnecessary single-use plastics, the five Gyres Better-Alternatives-Now Global Ban Recommendation, Ocean Conservancy’s 2019 International Coastal Clean-up most common items found in the Philippines, 2020 Social Weather Survey Stations Survey, Break Free from Plastic Philippines Project 2020 Brand Audit Report, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources 2020 Coastal Clean Up Data.
“The Commission should expedite banning single-use plastics. Our city hall led the way- banning all single-use plastics in all activities in Local Governments of Ormoc and now, we have expanded the ordinance on two-day ban of single-use plastics to cover the whole week. There are many existing alternatives and the Commission should research and look into local materials,” Councilor Lalaine Marcos of Ormoc City in Leyte said.
The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (Republic Act 9003) mandates the NSWMC chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary to formulate and update the list of Non-Environmentally Acceptable Products and Packaging (NEAPP) every year from its effectivity.
Under section 48 of RA 9003, the manufacture, distribution or use of non-environmentally acceptable packaging materials and importation of consumer products packaged in non-environmetnally acceptable packaging are banned. These are products and packaging that are “unsafe in production, use, post-consumer use, or that produce or release harmful by-products when discarded.”
Ramos said this was never done and the Commission has not disclosed the data on the production and trade of single-use plastics. “These provisions aimed at reduction at sources of plastic pollution have been effectively suspended without the NEAPP list from the Commission,” she added.
The NSWMC’s members include the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), League of Provinces, League of Cities of the Philippines, League of Municipalities of the Philippines, Liga ng mga Barangay, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
As of press time, 53 local governments passed resolutions urging the Commission to include single-use plastics in the NEAPP list and publish it. They are the Provinces of Cebu, Southern Leyte, Masbate, Davao Oriental, Aklan, Oriental Mindoro, and Bohol, Cities of Baguio; Angeles in Pampanga; Cebu, Lapu, Bogo in Cebu; Maasin in Southern Leyte; and Ormoc in Leyte and Municipalities of Liloan, Limasawa, San Juan, Padre Burgos, Silago, Libagon, Pintuyan, and St. Bernard in Southern Leyte; Badian, Bantayan, Ginatilan, San Remigio, Daanbantayan and Sibonga in Cebu; Trinidad, Duero, Bien Unido, Panglao, Antequera, President Carlos P. Garcia, Candijay, Dauis, Loon, Clarin, Gindolman, Ubay, and Loboc in Bohol; Perez, Quezon; Culaba, and Kawayan in Biliran; Catarman, Camiguin; Guihulngan, Negros Oriental; Libmanan, Camarines Sur; Siquijor and Larena in Siquijor; Pilar, Sorsogon; Tanjay, Negros Oriental; Balud, Masbate; and Cateel, Davao Oriental
Oceana is an international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Since 2014, Oceana has been working closely with national and local government agencies, civil society, fisherfolk and other stakeholders to restore abundance of Philippine fisheries and marine resources.
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