TTPEU OIC Chief, SSRS Chita A. Hidalgo delivering the Statement of Support of WWRRDEC Center Head, Ms. Helen A. Maddumba and signing the pledge of commitment in behalf of the office

On July 21, 2022, representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Offices, the DENR-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Regional Office, the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau- Watershed and Water Resources Research Center (ERDB WWRRDEC), and other CAR government agencies like the Department of Agriculture (DA),

Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry ( DTI), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Transportation (DOTr), and CAR Leagues of Provinces, Municipalities and Barangays as well as the CAR Leagues of Provinces, Municipalities, and Barangays, have made statements and pledged their support for the EMB-CAR Launching of the National Plan of Action for the Prevention, Reduction, and Management of Marine (NPOA-ML) held at the Paragon Hotel and Suits, Otek St. Baguio City.

The pledge of support commitment aims to help realize the NPOA-ultimate ML’s goal of “Zero Waste to Philippine Waters by 2040” and the vision of a “Philippines free of marine litter via shared responsibility, accountability, and participatory governance.”EMB-RD Maria Victoria Abrera encouraged the Ridge to Reef approach project implementation, particularly in the 3 R’s approaches, Reuse, Reduce and Recycle in Ecological Solid Wastes Management (ESWM). The DENR CAR being the watershed cradles of the north plays important role in achieving the NPOA-ML vision and goal, for whatever happens in the uplands will greatly affect the inland and coastal waters downwards.

The ERDB as the research arm of the DENR thru the WWRRDEC Center Head, Ms. Helen Maddumba pledged to support the NPOA-ML specifically on strategy # 1 in establishing science and evidence-based information on marine litter, by formulating and implementing proposals in line with the center’s areas of excellence on freshwater ecosystems. Marine litter can lead to loss of biodiversity and ecosystems functions and services of freshwater ecosystems and poses threat both to human and marine life.

Focusing Research, Development and Extensions (RDEs) activities on the Ecosystem Dynamics and Sustainable Management of Coastal and Freshwater Ecosystems will surely enhance current efforts of the country in resource and waste management and would eventually bring additional lenses to marine litter issues and control additional leakages of wastes into the bodies of water. In addition, the office has already project proposals in the pipeline related to water consumption, management, conservation practices and microplastic occurrences in riverine water and sediments in Luzon Island, Philippines.

At the same time as the EMB-CAR event, LGUs and the private sector with outstanding practices in the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) practices on Material Recovery Facility Operation (MRF), Composting Operations, Upcycling and Crafts Production, Sanitary Landfill, among others, were recognized and given plaques and cash incentives. A well-known illustration of LGUs and DENR participating in the implementation of plans, programs, and policies is the recognition and incentive system for LGUs. Additionally, however, the involvement of all community stakeholders is crucial. The successful execution of the ESWM program by the LGU can be duplicated by all other LGUs. The effective application of ESWM methods in both the public and commercial sectors has been recognized, providing more evidence to the saying that “If there’s a will, there’s a way“.

 The Regional Launching of NPOA-ML calls for the action of all stakeholders in achieving its vision and goal.  C.A. Hidalgo, WWRRDEC