Dumaguete walks for zero waste

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02.2

Around 500 people joined the Zero Waste Month Walk held last January 18 at Quezon Park, Dumaguete City to celebrate the achievements of the zero waste movement, raise awareness on how individuals can live sustainably, and to hold the government and corporations accountable.

With the theme, “Zero Waste: a Solution to the Climate Crisis,” the walk serves as a call for the public and private sectors to incorporate zero waste practices into their business, and for the city of Dumaguete to properly implement Ordinance 231 or the ‘Anti-Plastic Bags Ordinance’ and Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

The event was organized by War on Waste Negros Oriental, BPI-Bayan, Friends of the Environment NegOr (FENOr), Zero Waste Youth Negros Oriental, Zero Waste Cities Project-Dumaguete with Silliman University Fine Arts Department, Lipay Mundo, and the SUSG Environment Committee.

According to Leodegario Rosales, Walk Coordinator, the whole month of January is Zero Waste Month, as declared by Presidential Proclamation No. 760, dated May 5, 2014. 

Zero Waste or “Wala’y Usik” is a philosophy, a way of life, a goal and a plan of action that aims to maximize recycling, minimize waste, reduce consumption and ensure that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace.

“Zero Waste is no longer a dream because it is now happening in Barangays Bantayan, Looc, Piapi, Calindagan and Banilad in Dumaguete City,” Merci Ferrer from War on Waste-Negros Oriental, one of the organizers, said, citing their Zero Waste Cities Project.

While there is reason for celebration, Ferrer also emphasized that the government needs to do more. 

“The city of Dumaguete is not doing enough to become zero waste. We will write to them, and talk to them, and dance and march… We walk because we need to heighten our campaign to live in a zero waste city and a livable city.”

She also stated that all of us have a part to play in order for Dumaguete to be zero-waste. 

“Hindi matatapos ang kampanya dito (Our campaign doesn’t end here [on the streets]). When we go back [to our respective homes and workplaces], we have to practice [zero waste].”

Some of the specific demands also included that individuals go for zero waste, to practice waste segregation at source, to compost; demands for the government are to say no to Waste-to-Energy incineration, to put up more barangay-based Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), implement Ordinance 231 and RA 9003; and the demands for the corporations are to follow the laws regulating plastic use and for the establishments to practice zero waste so as to give consumers greener options.

“[Dumaguete should be] not only the city of gentle people, but also the city that is responsive to the climate crisis,” Ferrer added.

Mark Krylle Paitan, Convenor of the Zero Waste Youth-Negros Oriental, emphasized the role of the youth, and that there is no limit to what the youth can do and contribute for the environmental movement.

For the Dumaguete Zero Waste Month celebration, a Beach Clean-up & Waste Audit was held last Sunday, and the upcoming events are the Waste Workers Recognition Day and the Youth & Students Zero Waste Convergence on January 26 and 27, respectively.

The route taken for the walk was from Quezon Park Kiosk Area, to Sta. Catalina St., Dr. V. Locsin St., Real St/National Highway, Silliman Avenue, Perdices St., and back to the Quezon Park Kiosk Area.

The following had representatives that joined in the Zero Waste Month Walk: BPI-Bayan, FENOr, Kinaiyahan, Waste Youth, Zero Waste Cities Project, Brgy. Bantayan, Brgy. Piapi, Brgy. Looc, Brgy. Calindagan, Brgy. Banilad, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Maritime Police, Colegio de Santa Catalina de Alejandria, Silliman University, Foundation University, St. Paul University Dumaguete, Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Youth Advocates Through Theater Arts, DENR-EMB, Dumaguete Lions Club, Leo Club, mountaineering groups, Taclobo National High School, ADUNA, DCCCO Multipurpose Cooperative, and Perpetual Help Community Cooperative.

PHOTOS BY Heo Elentorio ll

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