By Azer Parrocha
MANILA, 25Aug2013 – The country’s garbage woes could have been alleviated if the allegedly corrupted P10-billion pork barrel funds had been used instead to help in financing solutions, stressed an environmental group Sunday.
Garbage has been the most visible after effect of weather disturbances.
The EcoWaste Coalition is outraged that instead of using funds to provide solutions for its problems, these were used for others.
Acting National Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition Aileen Lucero said the funds could have assisted communities to reduce the volume of garbage for disposal to the least.
“P10-B could have eased, if not provided enduring solutions, the waste and toxic crisis affecting our people and the environment,” Lucero said.
The group explained the wasted taxpayers’ money could have funded a range of responsive programs and services addressing the swelling waste.
According to the National Solid Waste Management Commission, an estimated 39,257 tons of waste a day are produced by individuals.
The ‘pork’ could have funded training activities on ecological solid waste management and Materials Recovery Facilities that minimize the volume of trash sent to residual waste landfill, the group said.
It could have also been used to purchase biodegradables shredders to speed up the composting process; generic sewing machines that can be used to make reusable bags from fabrics, doy packs, flour and rice sacks and other materials.
In addition, pedicabs, wooden carts can also be bought to itinerant waste recyclers can use for “bote-dyaryo” business; junk shops can be constructed, low-interest loans can be created to enable waste pickers to venture into micro-enterprises to augment their incomes.
The living and working conditions of the informal recyclers, which, in addition to access to low-interest loans, need insurance coverage, skills building opportunities, educational assistance for their children, protective gears could have also been alleviated.
Additionally, the group pointed out that with P10 billion, assisted local governments in shutting down, cleaning up and rehabilitating open and controlled dumpsites that have persisted to exist beyond their mandatory closure in February 2006.
Member groups of the EcoWaste Coalition are all geared up to join the “Million People March” on August 26 (Monday) to voice out their concerns. (PNA)