Mindoro town, DENR to step up efforts vs single-use plastics
CITY OF CALAPAN, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines — Single-use plastics are no longer welcome in the town of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro after its officials signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) region to intensify environment protection efforts and establish the municipality as a local chapter of Tayo Ang Kalikasan (TAK).
Communities as partners
In a statement emailed to the Inquirer, the DENR said, “As local chapter of TAK, San Jose shall strengthen through an ordinance it previously issued, waste segregation at source and prohibition of disposable or single-use plastics, such as plastic bags, utensils, cups, straws and stirrers.”
These steps aim to reduce the volume of plastic waste that eventually pollutes portions of the town’s treasured bodies of water, the Mangarin Bay and the Pandurucan River.
Top waste collectedTAK is the DENR’s campaign that engages communities as partners in addressing environmental issues and challenges.
El Nido in Palawan and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro were also launched as TAK local chapters to improve solid waste management amid the islands’ ongoing rehabilitation.
Data from river and coastal cleanup efforts in March for World Water Day and September (International Coastal Cleanup) last year show that plastics and plastic debris were still among the top waste collected in Mangarin and Pandurucan.
These do not include the plastic waste in the 24-25 tons of trash generated by the town every day.
“We are often reminded by Secretary Roy Cimatu that environment protection is not only the duty of the DENR or the LGU (local government unit). It is everybody’s responsibility to take care of nature,” DENR-Mimaropa Executive Director Henry Adornado said.
After the MOA signing on Jan. 10, close to 130 residents and leaders of villages, partner agencies, the academe and nongovernment organizations joined in the capacity building and stakeholders forum conducted by the municipal government.
“We are with the DENR in conserving the environment. It is part of our duties as mayor, barangay captain or councilor,” San Jose Mayor Romulo Festin said.
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