Mas maganda kung bata pa: Batocabe says youth should help in waste management

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Gotta start ’em young, according to AKO-Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe.

That’s why the politiko filed a bill that, once enacted, would institutionalize systematic and comprehensive solid waste management programs in private and public schools in the country.

Batocabe filed House Bill (HB) 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.

“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 in justifying the bill.

“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. AKO-Bicol sees it as a major health issue since it acknowledged that the government doesn’t have a “stellar” waste management program.

HB 5087 mandates the Department of Education (DepEd) to craft appropriate policies to involve elementary and high school students in practicing solid-waste management through segregation, recycling, reduction, or composting.

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 said.

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.