By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Alarmed by experts’ reports that our seas will be turned into “virtualdesserts ” by 2050, Senator Cynthia A. Villar has been pursuing legislations to protect the sustainability and biodiversity of our oceans as she joined the international community in celebrating this year’s World Oceans Day 2021.
Every 8th of June, World Oceans Day is observed to inform the public of the impact of human activity on the ocean and to mobilize people for the sustainable management of the world’s ocean.
This year’s celebration also marks the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development will run from 2021 to 2030.
As chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, Villar is strongly pushing for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1331, a bill institutionalizing EPR or the Extended Producer Responsibility mechanism.
The EPR is part of the country’s solid waste management system.
Villar also said it is a strategy to reduce the proliferation of single-use plastics that end up in the oceans and pollute the environment.
This measure, she said, would ensure that the responsibility for the entire life cycle of plastic products rests on the manufacturers. It mandates manufacturers to recover plastic wastes from their products as a mechanism towards achieving efficient solid waste management.
“We should be all responsible enough to protect our oceans, our source of marine resources and protein,” noted Villar.
Earlier, the senator has asserted that overwhelming volume of plastic wastes have remained a major environmental problem.
She has repeatedly emphasized that plastic wastes in the ocean destroy marine life and the oceans’ ecosystem.
“And so, our plastic waste problem is an environmental issue we need to urgently address if we are to help in ecosystem restoration and in the conservation of our oceans,” she added. (AI/MTVN)