By BAGUIO CITIZEN’S NO WASTE INITIATIVE
On August 29,2012, one hundred concerned Baguio citizens assembled in UP Baguio to attend the Workshop on Baguio Garbage, organized by Tebtebba, ORNUS-Tuntungan ti Umili, CWEARC and the Cordillera Studies Center of UP Baguio. As a result, participants to this workshop agreed to converge and launch the Baguio Citizen’s No Waste Initiative.
We are Baguio residents from all walks of life, including barangay officials, the church sector, the urban sector, those affected by the Irisan trashslide, the academe, the representatives of non-government organizations and people’s organizations. Our experiences with the uncollected garbage and the trashslide at the Irisan dumpsite, which claimed the lives of six people last year, have made us realize the magnitudde of the garbage problem of the city. Poorly managed waste has an enormous impact on our health, the local environment, including contamination of water resources and air pollution, and also on the global environment in terms of greenhouse emissions.
While it is the city government that is tasked to solve this problem, we believe that citizens participation is a necessary ingredient for a sucessful and sustainable waste management in the city. We aim to build citizens participation in waste mangement, policy development and programs. We have agreed among ourselves to do our share, and do what we can to ease the garbage crisis by drastically reducing to a minimun the waste that we generate, and by exerting efforts and contributing our knowledge and energies in engaging with government in the process of finding a long term sustainable solution to the garbage problem in the city.
In support of our brothers and sisters in Irisan, Tadiangan, and Aringay, La Union, we urge the city government to strictly comply with the terms of the recently granted writ of Kalikasan and to cease and desist from making use of the closed Irisan dumpsite for any garbage related activities.
We urge to the city government to review the tasks laid out in the city’s 10 year Ecological Waste Management Plan, and to persist in its effort to identify a site for a sanitary landfill for final disposal of the city’s residual waste, and to appeal to our neighbors and offer mutually beneficial terms of their consideration.
We appeal to the city government to exert due diligence in appraising technological solutions, like Waste to Energy, and the impacts on the environment, to learn the lessons from our experience with Protech’s ERS and the La Trinidad experience with the Blackhole technology, and to hold sway in their management of the garbage problem and not to hand over their responsibility to a foreign corporation, like Dominion Clean Energy. We demand that the city government be open and above board in all dealings with corporate interests, in relation to waste management, and to subject these contracts and transactions, to scrutiny of the public.
Many of us are not fully informed of current policies and guidelines on segregation and collection of our trash. We advise the city government to place greater emphasis on information and educatiuon of Baguio residents on their responsibilities in waste management and to tap the schools, parishes, non-government and people’s organizations, and members of civil society in this campaign to reach all Baguio citizens.
We are willing to match the government efforts by doing our share and initiating waste reduction and management measures in our homes and places of work, and carrying out our own IEC efforts in our communities. In fact, there are presently many ongoing initiatives by residents and local groups to set up recycling and reducing waste in thier localities. Barangay level initiatives are effective, as seen in the case of Guisad Central Barangay, which has enacted and is implementing a no plastics ordinance. We urge city government to recognize and give full support to local initiatives, and to allocate necessary budget for setting up infrastructure for barangay MRF’s and for barangay level IEC.
We want to send the message that the government is not alone in solving this problem and that many of us are ready and willing to get involved in the challenging task of solving our garbage problem.
Agreed upon by 100 participants to the Workshop on Baguio Garbage, August 29, 2012 at the Sarmiento Hall in the University of the Philippines Baguio. # nordis.net