August 12, 2012
CHIZ: PART OF FLOOD CONTROL FUNDS
SENATOR Chiz Escudero said a portion of the government's P12.2-billion flood control budget should be spent for a stepped-up waste management campaign, especially in urban areas in the country.
"Ondoy, the recent monsoon onslaught, and past natural calamities have all taught us one very simple lesson that somehow we have all forgotten: trash we throw indiscriminately will find its way back to our homes. It's time to take our lessons to heart," Escudero said.
The senator made the call as Malacanang said it would ask for a P5.2-billion increase in the government's flood control budget. This would bring next year's allocation to P17.5 billion.
"In Metro Manila alone, more than 5,000 metric tons of wastes are generated every day. Obviously we had not done a good job of managing our solid wastes based on the amount of trash washed back on our doorsteps. Dapat matuto na tayo," Escudero said.
The senator chairs the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
Statistics from the Environmental Management Bureau show that only 73 percent of waste generated daily in Metro Manila are collected by different local government units. The remaining 27 percent end up in the metro's waterways, rivers, and vacant lots and spaces.
"I support President Aquino's thrust towards a long-term solution to floods. But in the interim, while the needed infrastructure is being put in place, we should address the immediate problems. Sound waste management policies and practices, backed by strict enforcement, is long overdue," Escudero said.
The senator wants to strengthen the Solid Waste Management Boards (SWMB) in local government units in the country, especially those in flood-prone areas and urban hubs that are heavily populated.
"Lahat ba nang LGUs sa flood-prone areas meron nang SWMBs? Kung meron na, ano ang kanilang nagawa at ginagawa? We need to audit flood control measures at the local level, starting with policies existing or being planned so we will know where to spend the money," Escudero said.
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