Environmental activist groups have called on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to pass policies that will address “waste and pollution prevention and reduction” in the country.
At a press briefing on Sept. 28, the groups said the president should wage a “war on waste” and launch an ecological justice program that will address public health “as a matter of national priority.”
Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the Catholic Church’s social action secretariat, said addressing environmental issues “is as urgent as other social or political issues.”
The priest said efforts of pro-environment groups are not enough without the government’s support through the implementation of laws.
Abigail Aguilar, a campaigner for Greenpeace, said: “Having laws that outline the country’s waste pollution problems are not enough if serious implementation is lacking.”
Aguilar said addressing waste issues “do not seem to figure” as among the priorities of the Duterte administration.
Froilan Grate, coordinator of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, said he wanted the government to change its attitude.
“We hope that this government will take plastic pollution, particularly its leakage into our waterways and marine environment, more seriously,” said Grate.