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Environmental group to sue NSWMC for ‘inaction’ on plastic pollution

/ 03:24 PM June 27, 2021
DENR order banning single-use plastics out soon – Cimatu

TRASHY SHORES Plastic waste covers this coastline in Tondo, Manila. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — A marine conservation group is eyeing to sue the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) for its alleged inaction to solve the problem of plastic pollution.

The marine conservation group Oceana, in a statement released Sunday, said a notice to sue was sent to the members of NSWMC for alleged inaction to implement Republic Act 9003, also known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

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“We can no longer bear the inaction of the NSWMC which has failed to implement its mandated task to prepare a list of non-environmentally acceptable products and packaging (NEAPP),” said Gloria Estenzo Ramos, vice president of the said organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans.

RA 9003 was enacted to promote the adoption of a systematic, comprehensive, and ecological solid waste management program.

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Under RA 9003, the NSWMC is mandated to prepare a list of NEAPP within a year after the law came into effect, with an update every year thereafter.

House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, one of the principal authors of RA 9003, also filed a resolution on June 2 to investigate and audit the NSWMC.

“Despite these legal mandates and budgetary support is given in 2016 and 2017 amounting to P1.3 billion, the commission has unjustifiably failed to act on its ministerial function of preparing the list of NEAPP,” Congresswoman Legarda was quoted as saying.

The Waste Assessment Brand Audit 2019 report of the Global Alliance for Incinerators Alternatives (GAIA) also showed that the country, on a daily basis, produced 164 million pieces of sachets, 48 million shopping bags, 45.2 million pieces of “labo” bags.

The country produced 2.7 million metric tons of plastic wastes, of which, more than half a million metric tons were leaked to the ocean, according to a study by Ocean Conservancy in 2015.

The Pasig River also topped the list of contributors of plastic wastes among 1,600 polluted rivers across the world, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances in April.

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TAGS: National Solid Waste Management Commission, oceana, Pasig River, Plastic, water pollution
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