In an effort to gain insights and learn best practices of proper waste management abroad, Gov. Sol Matugas led the Surigao del Norte delegation who participated in the GLOBAL WASTE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand last August 1-2.
With the theme, ‘Building Sustainability in an Urbanized World through Strategic Waste Management,’ the International Global Waste Management Conference 2017 is the first in Asia, designed to provide a platform to address the rising issues in relation to the negative impacts of waste on health and environment, among others.
Policies, legislatures and implementation mechanism for recycling and waste management were presented in the said conference as well as the promotion of investments in the field of recycling and waste management, review of modern methods, technologies and solutions in managing industrial, medical, agriculture and municipal waste.
The team from Surigao del Norte included Mayor Guia P. Sabanal of San Francisco, Atty. Aimee Faith M. Egay of the Provincial Environment Management Office, Ma. Teresa M. Real of the Department of Education- Siargao Division, Ivonnie B. Dumadag of the Provincial Tourism Office and former congressman Atty. Francisco T. Matugas.
“Surigao del Norte, including our emerging tourist destination in Siargao Island, needs to adopt proper waste management practices to attain sustainable development,” said Gov. Matugas. “The conference provided an opportunity for the Surigao del Norte delegation to learn from the papers presented and the sharing of experiences of other countries in Asia in terms of managing their wastes,” she added.
“Our challenge now is to be able to implement a system that is workable in our locality and support it with effective policies. Cost-effectiveness, applicability and effectiveness. These are the key enablers of better waste management,” she reiterated.
The team has prepared a re-entry plan to the Department of the Interior and Local Government entitled “Adopting global practices and strategies in developing the solid waste management plan, building capacities of the Surigaonons and sustaining the Solid Waste Management programs of the Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte.” This focuses on the implementation of the 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) governance as well as upcycling, the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.
“One interesting concept which was repeatedly discussed in the presentations was about the circular economy, its business opportunities and how to develop value-added products from waste. We will promote upcycling here in Surigao and provide support to the private sector and other interested groups who will be our partners in this program,” concluded Gov. Matugas.
For Siargao Island, the Provincial Government intends to operate a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in one of the barangays close to the tourism destinations in General Luna, where machineries for recycling waste materials will be made available. All municipalities will also be required to set up their respective MRFs as mandated by Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act. A strengthened School-Based Solid Waste Management Program will also be implemented in the province, with enhanced parents’ engagement and pupils/students with corresponding incentives to support the advocacy. (IBD)
Source: Roberto Parada