Waste Reduction and Environmental Responsibility for the 2022 Peñafrancia Fiesta

Authorship Speech during the 7th Regular Session of the 14th Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Madam Presiding Officer, fellow members of the Sanggunian, guests, and those watching online – a pleasant morning to all!

Things are looking very exciting for the upcoming celebration of the 2022 Peñafrancia Fiesta. Especially, since it’s been two years since we last had a full-blown festive week. Data, however, from the Solid Waste Management Office, shows that this week-long celebration produces up to 250 tons/day of garbage collection, more than double the average regular garbage collection of 95 tons/day; thus, becoming a source of vast amounts of waste, with many fiesta participants unaware of its grave impact to our environment. Ang basura po saro sa mga dakulang ginagastusan kan Syudad bako lang pag Fiesta, pero all throughout the year.

Is there something that the City Government should do about this or should we just let it be? Upon the suggestion of some concerned citizens, a resolution is being proposed, by this representation, to be included under our Special Business or Order aimed at promoting environmental responsibility in the celebration of the 2022 Peñafrancia Fiesta and urging the collaborative commitment of the City Government of Naga, the Archdiocese of Caceres, the business sector, and civil society groups.

True – there will be inconvenience, some may say that this is too radical of an approach; but environmental concerns are our moral obligation to address and should be beyond the issues of comfort and convenience. Dear colleagues, the policies towards this objective are already in place. Such as the Plastic Bag Regulatory Ordinance and so many others as early as the 1990s during the time of Former Councilor Sim Adan. What we simply lack is the strict enforcement and implementation. But if we can set ourselves, the City Government as examples towards this advocacy, only then can we will be more effective implementers and policy-makers.

If key players in this Peñafrancia Fiesta would lead in this advocacy and be good examples in the reinforcement of waste reduction measures by, among others: encouraging reusables, adjusting food and consumption delivery systems, and strictly prohibiting single-use plastics/packaging/decorations, I am optimistic that we will greatly reduce our garbage and further promote the people’s right to a balanced and healthful ecology.  

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