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Batangas City waste diversion increases,ENRO aims more through initiatives

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By Caleb James Baldo, Herleen Cagatulla, & Janessa Xylene Macaraig

Proclamation 1482, s. 2008 was signed into law as a declaration of the year 2008 as the “Year of Planet Earth” and April as the “Earth Month”. With its 16th year anniversary, Batangas City Environmental and Natural Resources Office (City ENRO) prepared activities and events for the upcoming Earth Month 2024 with the theme “Planet vs. Plastics”.

Importance of Proclamation 1482, s. 2008 as legal basis. Proclamation 1482 s. 2008 states the willingness of the Philippines to be part of promoting greater public awareness and understanding of the essence of earth sciences in changing the quality of life of Filipinos.

By this, it requires the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and other Local Government Units (LGUs), Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other civic and religion organization to supervise the implementation of the proclamation and to conduct activities that will highlight the promotion of its goals.

Environmental Code of Batangas City. In line with this, Batangas City Government promulgated Ordinance No. 16, s. 2010 which aims to lessen the use of plastic in establishments, communities and of the different concerned Batangueños.

This ordinance also aims to regulate the waste generation of Batangas City that has reached 167 metric tons of waste per day, or about 0.50 kilograms per capita.
Currently, Batangas City has been making improvements since this code was implemented.
Waste diversion rate from 2021 to 2023 has an increase of 5.33% (from 60.86% to 66.19%). This is the result of the local government efforts of diverting and redirecting waste from landfills through reusing and recycling.

“… sa Batangas City is hindi na pwede ang plastics, so lower waste generation every year since bawal na nga yung plastics sa Batangas City. So far, since 2010 nga yung batas namin, 2024 na ngayon, so far naman, na-achieve naman namin yung goal. Tuloy tuloy lang..” said Ms. Julie Ann Kay Aguba, Project Development Coordinator of City ENRO, as she explained the status of Batangas City in lowering waste generation.

Batangas City past initiatives for Earth Month
“So, we do coastal clean ups, city- wide clean up, and information dissemination especially on climate change and solid waste management.” as Ms. Aguba highlighted different events they have conducted for the past years.

Batangas City Government conducts different activities to reach their goal in different sectors of their communities. Their events are tailored-fit to the theme and the needs/trends of the community of that specific year.

In 2015, themed “It’s Our Turn To Lead”, Batangas City ENRO launched “Bike for the Earth”,
which is a Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) bike ride conducted by the City
Government of Batangas in partnership with the USAID – B-LEADERS Project.

Additionally in 2019, themed “Protect Our Species”, one of the highlights of their events is the launching of Bantay Ilog Calumpang Movement (BICMOVE) which aims to rehabilitate and protect the Calumpang River.

What to look forward this Earth Month 2024 . Now, as the month of April has already started, Batangas City ENRO has different events prepared for the Batangueños. Ms Aguba as she stated the event highlight that will take place this April.

Through the exhibit, Batangas City ENRO will let the Batangueños know the current situation of the environment of their community since the pandemic. Other than the exhibit, Batangas City ENRO will also conduct a city-wide clean-up.

Call for Participation of people of Batangas City. As stated in the Environmental Code of Batangas City “people of Batangas City put high premium value on environment and natural resources as a pillar of community development;”, the government of Batangas emphasized the crucial role of people to this event.

“…kase every year na lang cine-celebrate sya, so titignan mo yung naging impact ng ginawa mo last year, crucial talaga sya.” Ms. Aguba as she pointed out the importance of celebrating Earth Month and the importance of Batangas City people participation.
This year’s Earth Month celebration with the theme “Planet vs. Plastics”, Batangas City
Government will also focus on the implementation of the environmental code and will further oversee the effectiveness of the said ordinance.|

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