AKO BICOL Representative Rodel Batocabe seeks to adopt systematic and comprehensive solid waste management programs in private and public schools in the country.
AKO Bicol Partylist filed House Bill 5087, or the Act Strengthening RA 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management of 2001, Mandating All Elementary and Secondary Schools to Adopt Policies Implementing Solid Waste Management. If this bill were enacted to law, students would be exposed to adequate avenues to engage in waste management practices inside their learning institutions.
“We need to start early in teaching the younger generation that waste management is not the sole responsibility of the government. It is a personal responsibility that encompasses everyone” Batocabe said.
“We have to conserve the environment by addressing the growing concerns brought by the augmented presence of wastes in the environment”, Batocabe added.
The Philippines currently generates 40,000 tons of garbage daily, or 14.6 million tons a year. With the shortage of materials recovery facilities, waste management facilities, and the absence of stellar implementation of policies regarding waste management, the matter poses a high risk on the wellbeing and health of Filipinos.
This novel piece of legislation mandates the Department of Education to craft appropriate policies to involve elementary and high school students in practicing solid-waste management through segregation, recycling, reduction, or composting. Establishing strategies to encourage students to participate in the identified waste management programs of the school should also be looked into to achieve the goals of the programs.
Incentives will be awarded to students who take these programs seriously and adhere to the policies religiously.
“All schools are required to report their respective solid waste management strategies to their division superintendents to ensure compliance. Newly-established schools shall also create their own plan before they will be allowed to operate”, Batocabe added.
Failure to meet the minimum standards prescribed by the proposed legislative measure will merit the schools appropriate administrative sanctions to be decided by the Secretary of Education. Private schools that will fail to meet the rules imposed by the proposed law may have their permits to operate suspended.
“Solid waste management has transformed into a serious environmental and health issue. The symptoms of indiscriminate dumping of garbage in our environment could be treated by increasing the awareness among students on how to properly approach the issue”, Batocabe said.
“Cleanliness begins at home and through the experiential learning at school will make the students more conscious in waste minimization efforts”, Batocabe added.
Click on LINK below to view the full version (PDF) of HB 5087:
House Bill 5087: Amending the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act