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Trashed to zero

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PHILIPPINE CITY shows zero waste is achievable.

So screamed Rappler in an Oct. 13, 2019 story datelined Penang, Malaysia celebrating the City of San Fernando’s success in waste management:

Is zero waste really achievable?

San Fernando City in Pampanga leads Philippine cities in eliminating residual waste, or waste that cannot be recycled or composted, in a bid to reduce plastic pollution.

In a press briefing of #ZeroWaste cities on Sunday, October 13, San Fernando City Mayor Edwin Santiago shared how his city brought residual waste to just 20% from 85%.

Is zero waste really achievable?

San Fernando City in Pampanga leads Philippine cities in eliminating residual waste, or waste that cannot be recycled or composted, in a bid to reduce plastic pollution.

In a press briefing of #ZeroWaste cities on Sunday, October 13, San Fernando City Mayor Edwin Santiago shared how his city brought residual waste to just 20% from 85%.

CSF is zero waste champion in Asia

So Punto shared the good news on Oct. 22, in a story coming out of Santiago’s guesting at the Balitaan of the Capampangan in Media:

Santiago said he just came from Malaysia where CSF was recognized as zero waste champion after presenting the city’s zero waste actions to thousands of delegates from different parts of the globe.

He said in attendance where ASEAN delegates, consumer associations, Europeans, the US, and Japan.

…Santiago said the city is not using plastic now since 2015 when the zero-waste campaign was fully implemented.

“Now, our residual waste is down to 22 percent,” he said.

Santiago said the city’s zero waste thrust was even featured in an international documentary on plastic pollution entitled: The Story of Plastic…

DENR shuts down 4 dumpsites in Pampanga

So blared a number of broadcast media, so screamed broadsheets and tabloids only last Nov. 12:

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Tuesday issued ceaseand- desist orders against two municipalities and one city in Pampanga province for operating open dumpsites, which is strictly prohibited under the Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Unit Concerns Benny Antiporda led the closure of four dumpsites in the municipalities of Bacolor and Porac, and the city of San Fernando.

Antiporda, together with the DENR Environmental Management Bureau in Central Luzon, padlocked the entrance gate of an open dumpsite at Brgy. Lara in San Fernando City…

No open dumpsite in San Fernando —Mayor EdSa

So press released the City of San Fernando on Nov. 12 too:

“We are not operating an open dumpsite. We only have the City Transfer Station.”

…City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Regina Rodriguez clarified that no dumpsite is operating in the city. The former dumpsite has been converted to a transfer station when it was rehabilitated through the city’s greening program.

“We are fully implementing RA 9003. From the garbage collection, to the sorting and transferring, our system works. We are in partnership with the Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation who collects the garbage every day from our transfer station. We will never tolerate the existence of an open dumpsite here in San Fernando,”

Rodriguez said. Rodriguez also stressed that the transfer station was reviewed and approved by the DENR Region 3 pursuant to the Department’s Administrative Order No. 09, series of 2006, or the “General Guidelines in the Closure and Rehabilitation of Open Dumpsite and Controlled Dump Facilities.”

Last August, the Environmental Management Bureau-3 issued a letter commending the initiatives of the city to hasten the implementation of the Ecological Waste Management Act of 2000.

The city was also one of the recipients of the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) of the Department of the Interior and Local Government where “Environmental Management” is one of the criteria.

WHAT the DENR “commended” only last August, it damned in November!

There is more, much more than the eye sees here. Aye, in the context of the issue at hand, something really smells more than fishy here.

We see no simple instance of the proverbial “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” In this wise, of Antiporda seeing a dumpsite in Santiago’s transfer station. Of the former – like the boy in that fable of the emperor’s new clothes – seeing though the bareness of the City of San Fernando’s claim to championing zero waste.

The burden of proof now is dumped on Santiago. Just wondering what Rappler has to say.

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