Abayon calls for enforcement of regulation vs plastics, litterbugs

Aftermath of Christmas Day camping at Rizal Park grounds. (Graham Winter photo)

Aangat Tayo Party-list Rep. Neil Abayon on Wednesday called for strict enforcement of the country’s environment laws as he expressed dismay over holiday revelers who turned the Rizal Park into a wasteland of plastic garbage and rotting leftover food on Christmas Day.

Abayon also lauded netizens who vigilantly opposed the plan of business establishments to release thousands of balloons as part of their New Year festivities.

“If it were not for the intense public pressure from netizens, that hotel resort and other establishments which had similar plans would have set the wrong example to the general public and caused irreparable environmental damage,” Abayon said.

The 29-year-old solon added, “Those establishments should have known better and failed to do their complete staff work and research because if they had, they would have learned that many local governments have been banning single-use and unrecoverable plastics. DoT (Department of Tourism), DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) and DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) should have much better coordination with the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) against solid waste, especially plastics.”

Abayon appealed to the House leadership and the committee on ecology to consolidate all the 18 pending anti-plastics bills into one measure and approve the omnibus bill before Congress goes into summer recess.

“Passing on the 18 anti-plastics bills to the 18th Congress could mean further worsening of the waste management problems nationwide, especially in the cities and towns. It would be better to pass them all now in the 17th Congress,” he warned.

Among the pending bills against single-use and unrecoverable plastic products and microbeads are House Bill (HB) 3579 of Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Abayon’s HB 7902 titled “An Act Mandating Plastic Waste Management Programs And Measures, Prohibiting The Release Of Plastic Waste Into The Natural Environment, Empowering The Ombudsman To Implement Waste Management Laws, Appropriating Funds Therefor, And For Other Purposes.”

p: wjg