LEYTE Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez reiterated yesterday her appeal to millions of Filipinos to observe environmental concerns as they welcome the New Year by ensuring the proper disposal of garbage.
Romualdez, wife of Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) President Martin Romualdez who was the former head of the House Independent Bloc Leader and three-term Leyte congressman, lamented that authorities regularly have to contend with a garbage-filled metropolis on New Year’s day.
“Let us reduce the environmental concerns that would greet New Year. Let us ensure the proper disposal of garbage that is now starting to pile up,” said Romualdez, first nominee of Tingog Sinirangan party-list group, adding that garbage problems would be aggravated by the debris to be left by firecrackers.
“As we celebrate New Year, let us also remember environmental considerations from the expected huge garbage that will pile up. The people should help maintain cleanliness,” said Romualdez, the chairperson of the House Committee on Accounts.
Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte has proposed a limit to the sale of firecrackers and other pyrotechnics to a maximum of P5,000 for a single-receipt purchase by individuals as well as mandating local government units (LGUs) to identify designated zones where these devices can be used.
Author of House Bill No, 8085, Villafuerte said these stringent measures are necessary to prevent injuries and tragedies arising from the irresponsible use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices, especially during the Christmas and New Year’s Day festivities.
Villafuerte said that under his bill, regulating the sale of pyrotechnic devices, any corporation or entity requiring an amount higher than the P5,000 limit for firecracker purchases shall have to apply for a special permit from the Firearms and Explosives Office of the Philippine National Police (PNP-FEO) for its fireworks display, subject to the regulations that may be imposed by this office.
“The City or Municipality Government shall, in coordination with the barangays in their jurisdiction, conduct massive advocacy and information dissemination in the observance of the safety guidelines for fireworks or pyrotechnic use and exhibition. It shall conduct roving inspections and confiscate and destroy firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices being sold to the public which are prohibited by law,” HB 8085 stated.
At the same time, Romualdez appealed to authorities to draw up contingent measures that would prevent the piling up of uncollected garbage in various parts of the country.
“Our authorities should initiate its contingency measures so that garbage collection will not be hampered,” said Romualdez.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has been usually facing a problem with its garbage collection program.
The Leyte congresswoman recalled that concerned authorities collected tons of waste materials left behind during and after Christmas and New Year celebrations in streets and major thoroughfares.