R.A. 8749: an Act of Concern

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Every year the Philippines alone produce tons of garbage. A simple statistic from the senate government website says that:

The average Filipino generates 0.3 and 0.5 kilograms of garbage daily in rural and urban areas, respectively. A recent Asian Development Bank (ADB) 2004 study showed that 6,700 MT of waste is generated daily in Metro Manila. Annual waste generation is expected to grow 40% by 2010

These garbage come in many forms: the styrofoams used by a fast food chain, a broken pair of slippers and wrappers of various snacks are just some examples. For the past decades, issues regarding disposal of these large amount of waste have been a primary concern. Landfill sites continuously blow as more garbage is generated. However, economists would say resources are scarce and limited especially in land. Thus in 2002, the Supreme Court decided to pass Republic Act 8749 or the Clean Air Act of 1999 making the Philippines the first country to ban burning or incineration of all wastes.

Incineration is a waste treatment process which uses combustion. Waste materials are converted into ash, flue gas and heat. Incineration does not totally replace landfill sites but rather significantly reduces the volumes of wastes necessary for disposal1 (Wikipedia).

But beneath this supposedly positive output lies the harmful effects of incineration to the environment.

Environmentalists claim that burning waste materials result to numerous negative environmental, social and health effects. Some of these harms are: • Poison to the environment, human body, and food supply with toxic chemicals. The release of gases like dioxin during the burning process is harmful to every human life. • Production of toxic byproducts

• Undermining of waste prevention and recycling
• Contribution to global climate change
• Generation of waste energy and destruction of vast quantities of resources • Violation of the principles...
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