In the wake of the recent heavy flooding in parts of Metro Manila brought about by two consecutive days of continuous rains, Senator Loren Legarda warned that unless solid waste management law and flood control projects are properly implemented, the country will continue to have disasters like that brought about by Typhoon Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) and Sendong (International name: Washi).
“Despite the nation’s horrible experiences during storms or typhoons in the very recent past, the problem of flooding persists in Metro Manila. We must ask our public officials: Were road repairs accomplished before the start of the rainy season? Was there de-clogging of esteros? Is the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 being properly implemented?” said Legarda who is the Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific.
Legarda said that the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 or Republic Act 9003 and stressed that natural hazards become disasters due to lack of preparedness. The said law, which was authored by Legarda, mandates recycling as well as proper segregation of garbage at the household level, segregated transportation, processing, treatment and proper disposal of solid wastes.
“Improper waste management is causing many of these destructive floods. With flooding comes sickness, loss of livelihood, and chaos. I implore our local government officials and agencies not to be reactive. Do not focus merely on relief and rehabilitation efforts. The right attitude is to be proactive—preventing the occurrence of floods by finding solutions to end what causes it,” Legarda said.
“Let us not wait for another Ondoy or another Sendong. Let us be inspired by a sense of urgency and act now. We need to enjoin everyone to ensure that we do not fall victim to any more disasters brought about by lack of planning and preparation, and that includes monitoring the implementation of waste management laws and flood control projects,” she added.
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