By Angelica Y. Yang, Reporter
THE ENVIRONMENT department has ordered the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) and the Solid Waste Management Division to release the list of products deemed damaging to the environment.
Such items, known as non-environmentally acceptable products (NEAP) which will be banned in compliance with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
“(The NSWMC Secretariat and Solid Waste Management Division are) hereby directed to publish the list of NEAP in two newspapers of national circulation and provide a copy of the NSWMC Resolution (declaring plastic soft drink straws and plastic coffee stirrers part of the NEAP) to the Office of the National Administrative Registry at the University of the Philippines Law Center for their information and appropriate action,” Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Benny D. Antiporda said in a letter obtained by BusinessWorld.
The letter also directed the two agencies to begin drafting the guidelines of the NEAP, including phase-out timelines, which must be issued “one year after” the release of the list.
Asked when the NEAP will be out, Mr. Antiporda said he is sure it will be released by next week.
“Within next week iyan, sigurado meron na iyan (I’m sure it will be out),” he told BusinessWorld via Viber.
He added that the Science department is still evaluating other possible products.
DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu chairs the NSWMC, while Mr. Antiporda serves as the commission’s alternate chairman.
Under the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act or Republic Act No. 9003, the NSWMC must prepare the NEAP within a year of the law’s enactment and provide yearly updates.
Non-government organizations have declared their intent to press charges against the NSWMC, DENR, and other government agencies over their “inaction” on the list.
“We are preparing the lawsuit. The NSWMC or the member agencies have not responded to the notice(s) to sue,” Oceana Vice-President Gloria Estenzo Ramos told BusinessWorld in an e-mail Thursday.
Political will is needed for the commission to perform its 20-year-old mandate, she added.