(Metro News) MMDA, DENR to clean metro, ‘Singapore style’

February 28, 2011 12:07 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 28 — Upon instructions of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), is out to clean the metropolis “Singapore style.”

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino has in its corner Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje, who was given instructions by the President himself, to implement the same strictness as in Singapore when it comes to keeping the streets clean.

“President (Benigno) Noynoy (Aquino III) told me, ‘I want you to clean Metro Manila Singapore style,’” Paje said during the launch of the MMDA’s “Metro Ko, Love Ko” anti-littering program recently.

The DENR chief went on to praise Tolentino for taking the lead in getting tough against litterbugs, where violators are literally made to pay for their mistakes as with the case in the Philippines’ Southeast Asian neighbor.

Calling it a great proposal on the part of the President, the MMDA chief said “We will cooperate with the Metro mayors, DENR and different agencies and we will force to implement the instructions of our President."

It maybe recalled that Tolentino has tapped “environmental enforcers” for the strict implementation of Republic Act (R.A.) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and MMDA Regulation No. 96-009 or the Anti-Littering Ordinance last September. Since then, the agency has apprehended over 21,000 litterbugs in Metro Manila.

The MMDA chairman said the environmental enforcers have been deputized to monitor the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila. Individuals caught spitting or indiscriminately throwing wastes like cigarette butts and candy wrappers are issued environmental violation receipts (EVRs).

EVRs have corresponding fines ranging between P500 and P1,000. Failure to pay a fine means that the violator would have to undergo eight to 16 hours of community service.

The revival of anti-littering drive is part of the renewed thrust of the agency to prevent the recurrence of floods caused by the clogging of the esteros and waterways.

The MMDA chief pointed out that garbage thrown into the street end up in the drainage and onto the pumping stations of the MMDA, causing periodic malfunctions in the agency’s flood control facilities. (PNA)

DCT/FFC/CLTC

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