By Mary Judaline Partlow, PNA
DUMAGUETE CITY — Environmentalists pushing for Dumaguete to become a “Zero Waste City” are challenging winners in the May 13 mid-term elections here to prioritize this program and the strict implementation of this city’s ordinance banning the use of plastic.
Merci Ferrer, co-convenor of War on Waste (WOW) – Negros Oriental and head of the Zero Waste Cities Project – Dumaguete, on Friday stressed the need to pursue the agenda on the environment.
Ferrer stressed that there is “no more excuse” for political leaders to fail to pay attention to the city’s environmental woes.
She expressed dismay that only a handful of the city’s political candidates had taken the Green Electoral Vote Survey that her group and other environmental groups fielded before the elections.
Ferrer said there could be varied reasons for this, but regardless, they would like to see the city’s leaders this time to engage in more activities that would push the environmental agenda.
“I’m not really sure what the reasons are for the non-takers of the survey but one thing is for sure now, on my part, is I will push through with my agenda on Zero Waste,” she said.
Ferrer’s group launched last year the Zero Waste Cities – Dumaguete program, with three barangays as pilot areas — Looc, Piapi, and Bantayan.
They are hoping the project would get the full backing of the local officials for its city-wide implementation, targeting 2020 or 2021 for a total Zero Waste city, she said.
Meanwhile, Ferrer also called on the city’s political leaders to strictly implement the ordinance against the use of plastic bags and styrofoam.
They should also strictly adopt and enforce measures against the use of plastic straws, she said.
There are so many reasons why they are not enforcing this, but since they are given another mandate or a new mandate to serve the people of Dumaguete, there should be more concrete efforts in this area, Ferrer added. (PNA)