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Solid waste crisis

The Japanese government has collaborated with the Philippines to promote proper waste disposal as threats to public health as the environment continues to worsen.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan’s bilateral aid agency, and the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) are working to establish guidelines for the accurate characterization of wastes for the use of local government units through a waste analysis and characterization study manual developed by the Ministry of Environment of Japan.

The manual sets technical standards in analyzing waste characteristics to guide LGUs in making and implementing waste reduction and management programs which will require their commitment as implementing such programs requires serious policy investments.

JICA Philippines senior representative Yo Ebisawa said such investments are definitely worth it considering their impact on promoting a circular economy and effectively managing solid waste.

Data from the government showed that the average per capita waste generation is around 0.40 kilograms per day and that biodegradable wastes make up 52 percent of the country’s total waste generated.

Considering the population, JICA said the total amount of waste in the country is expected to increase further which means that improper solid waste management can lead to serious consequences to health and environment. The Asian Development Bank has earlier said the Philippines was facing a waste crisis, perhaps of an “unimaginable scale.”

Aside from assistance is solid waste management, JICA also has initiatives for environment conservation and management in the Philippines, including cooperation in forestland management, coastal conservation, water improvement, septage management, and sharing of Japanese innovations in recycling technologies, among others.

A country on the verge of a waste crisis due to decades of procrastination should take advantage of this offer from the Japanese government, so our LGUs, many of which have not even started constructing the sanitary landfills required by law more than 20 years ago, can finally get to finding long overdue solutions to this nagging problem.*

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