Environmental Management Bureau – I (EMB-I) Regional Director, Engr. Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe, convened the members of the Regional Ecology Center (REC) to strengthen the implementation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and cascade the National Plan of Action for the Prevention, Reduction, and Management of Marine Litter (NPOA-ML) on September 8, 2022 at J&V Function Hall, City of San Fernando, La Union.

EMB-I Regional Director Engr. Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe, expressed her gratitude to the REC members for their overwhelming response and attendance and lauded their continued initiatives and efforts in strengthening the organization and their implementation of RA 9003 in their respective offices and jurisdictions. RD underscored that the reactivation of the REC would contribute to the successful implementation of Section 7 of RA 9003 by providing consulting, training, and networking services for stakeholders.

About 19 REC members from National Government Agencies (NGAs), Academe, Provincial and Local Government Units and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), attended the meeting, namely Department of Trade and Industry-I OIC, CPD H.A. Zaldy Z. Zafra, Jr.; Philippine National Police โ€“ Police Regional Office I (PNP-PRO I) Police Major Mark Lagman; Department of Environment and Natural Resources-I Information Officer II Zenaida L. Paday-os; Mr. Mark Anthony F. Ballan from Department of Social Welfare & Development-I; Engr. Blessmelord Elmir C. Gacutan from National Economic & Development Authority-I; Mr. Immanuel M. Munar from Commission on Higher Education-I; Mr. Lenmar P. Principe from Department of Health-I; Mr. Christian Justine V. Mendoza from Department of Science and Technology-I; Ms. Felimar C. Regundero & Mr. Nimrod Martinez from Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic and Resources-I; Ms. Mikee A. Catungal from Technical Education & Skills Development Authority-I; Ms. Diana E. Jutba & Ms. Jorraine Nor Rasay from Provincial Government Environment & Natural Resources Office (PG-ENRO) of La Union; EMS II, Engr. Jonas J. Aliaga, & Mr. Larry P. Salas Jr. from LGU San Fernando City, La Union CENRO; Mr. Celso H. Jucutan from Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University-North La Union Campus; Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners (PIEP) Northern Luzon Chapter Immediate Past President Claudio Rillera Jr.; Mr. Jonathan D. Santiago, Ms. Corazon P. Sajonas and Ms. Irish Grace Fellas from Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Incorporated.

EMB-I Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Section Chief Marygail Antonette N. Killa, EnP. discussed the objectives, establishment, and functions of the Regional Ecology Center. The REC facilitates training and education in integrated ecological solid waste management and establishes and manages a solid waste management information database system, in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other concerned agencies.

EMB-I Environmental Education and Information Unit (EEIU) Head Maynard Cara presented the salient features of the National Plan of Action for the Prevention, Reduction, and Management of Marine Litter (NPOA-ML) and guidelines for the orderly conduct of International Coastal Cleanup in celebration of the National Cleanup Month.

The NPOA-ML is the national marine litter framework plan with an overarching goal of “Zero Waste to Philippine Waters by 2040.” The National Solid Waste Management Commission adopted the NPOA-ML on May 12, 2021, through Resolution No. 1441, Series of 2021. It was then adopted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on August 5, 2021, through DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2021-10. DMC 2021-10 aims for the NPOA-ML to provide guidance to enhance the current efforts of the country in resource and waste management and to bring an additional perspective to marine litter issues and the control of additional leakage of waste into bodies of water.

Environmental Management Specialist II Blossom May Renion gave updates on Ecological Solid Waste Management programs and activities of EMB-I and the compliance of LGUs with the requirements of RA 9003 in Region I.

The REC members discussed possible activities and programs to be undertaken in collaboration with stakeholders to strengthen the implementation of RA 9003. Mr. Mendoza shared that DOST-I is providing technical assistance & trainings on Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS) to accommodate the request from various LGUs. He added that DOST-I also provides technical assistance and solid waste management equipment to qualified LGUs.

EMB-I Environmental Monitoring & Enforcement Division Chief, Engr. Ryanne N. Narvaez, proposed to include the League of Municipal Mayors and Provincial Governors in the REC. He added that pool of experts from partner Agencies, NGOs and Academe would strengthen the holistic approach and engagement of community towards the implementation of RA 9003 in the local level.

The REC members discussed possible activities and programs to be undertaken in collaboration with stakeholders to strengthen the implementation of RA 9003. Mr. Mendoza shared that DOST-I is providing technical assistance & trainings on Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS) to accommodate the request from various LGUs. He added that DOST-I also provides technical assistance and solid waste management equipment to qualified LGUs.

EMB-I Environmental Monitoring & Enforcement Division Chief, Engr. Ryanne N. Narvaez, proposed to include the League of Municipal Mayors and Provincial Governors in the REC. He added that pool of experts from partner Agencies, NGOs and Academe would strengthen the holistic approach and engagement of community towards the implementation of RA 9003 in the local level.