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Thursday, April 18, 2024

With 36K tons of trash, Neda pitches waste reduction

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THE Philippines produces 36,000 tons of waste everyday, equivalent to an Olympic-sized swimming pool, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

In a presentation on Monday, Neda Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon said this is why the government is pushing for the enactment of environmental laws and reforms to promote sustainable consumption.

Edillon said waste reduction is one of the priority actions of the government in the medium term along with developing and adopting green technologies.

“We’ve already heard of waste to energy, but we think that the first thing that needs to be done is to minimize the waste,” Edillon said.

“It’s the size of one Olympic-sized swimming pool every day. So there really has to be a model for how we can reduce this waste,” she stressed.

Edillon said other priority actions include performing life cycle analysis to determine the impact of products on the environment throughout their life.

“We must promote consumption and production patterns that maximize current and future welfare, allowing us to balance the pressing needs of today with the optimal preservation of our natural resources for future generations,” Neda Director General Arsenio M. Balisacan said.

In the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028: From Plan to Action, Neda, in Chapter 15: Accelerate Climate Action and Strengthen Disaster Resilience, called for the implementation of actions to accelerate sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in the country.

This should be done through the Philippine Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production (PAP4SCP) and the operationalization of the Roadmap to Institutionalize Natural Capital Accounting in the Philippines or the NCA Roadmap.

To this end, the PAP4SCP contains various strategies and actions to influence the behaviors and practices of consumers and producers to reduce waste and environmental degradation.

Moreover, the PAP4SCP includes programmatic interventions across sectors and levels of government towards decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation.

Meanwhile, the NCA Roadmap provides strategic guidance for the full institutionalization and integration of NCA in the government’s planning, policymaking, investment programming, and comprehensive accounting of the country’s wealth.

“Given today’s technological advances, sustained levels of high growth need not be at the expense of the environment. We must promote consumption and production patterns that maximize current and future welfare, allowing us to balance the pressing needs of today with the optimal preservation of our natural resources for future generations,” Balisacan said.

“To make sure we are fully aware of the environmental impact of our economic activities, we must measure and properly account for the use of our natural resources,” he added.

Representatives from the government, private sector, development partners, and civil society conveyed their messages of support and shared their respective initiatives related to SCP and NCA, which will contribute to the attainment of the overall goal of the PDP Chapter 15 to strengthen the resilience of communities, institutions, and ecosystems to the impacts of natural hazards and climate change.

This event, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is part of the Neda’s series of advocacy activities that aim to foster a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach in implementing the strategies and priority actions espoused in the PDP 2023-2028. The event was held at the Novotel Manila, Quezon City, on February 13, 2023.

Image credits: John Jerome Ganzon | Dreamstime.com

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