A lawmaker from the Bicol region on Wednesday expressed hope that President Duterte will sign into law a congressional initiative to upgrade the recycling or reuse of discarded plastic containers and packaging materials.
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte made the statement as the final version of the proposed amendment to RA 9003 is set for transmittal to Malacañang for President Duterte’s signature into law.
This came after both the House of Representatives and the Senate ratified before the sine die adjournment of the 18th Congress the proposed “Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act” that amends Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
Villafuerte, who is a principal author of the measure batted for the bill’s enactment.
“The measure institutionalizes the practice of EPR in waste management that imparts on producers, in coordination with their distributors and retailers, the responsibility of properly and effectively disposing of their products after these have been sold to and used by consumers,” Villafuerte said.
“The objective here is to reduce waste generation and improve the recyclability or reusability of such wastes as plastic containers or packaging materials.”
Villafuerte said this measure proposes incentives for producers, distributors and retailers that will adopt mechanisms and strategies for the proper and effective management of the wastes generated from the use or consumption of the goods that they produce, distribute or sell to the public.
This, by making producers along with their distributors and retailers responsible for the proper disposal of these waste products after their goods have been sold to and used by consumers.
The House of Representatives has recently ratified the bicameral conference committee (bicam) report on the proposed “Extended Producer Responsibility Act of 2022.”
The bicam report had reconciled the disagreeing provisions of House Bill 10696 and Senate Bill 2425 or the proposed amendatory law to Republic Act 9003 or the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.”
Villafuerte had authored HB 9859, which was one of the measures incorporated into HB 10696.
“Solving our waste management problem appears to be elusive for the Philippine government despite the enactment of RA 9003,” Villafuerte said. “Proper segregation, inefficient collection, improper disposal and inadequate facilities remain unsolved.”
In view of this problem, the proposed measure institutionalized the practice of EPR, especially in industries that generate plastic waste, he said. “The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines EPR as an environmental policy approach in which a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle.”