A Catholic prelate yesterday joined the call of the EcoWaste Coalition for clean recycling jobs amid the threat of massive unemployment due to the global financial crisis.
“With declining employment and warming climate, clean recycling jobs offer real economic opportunities for our people,” Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez said. The chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Public Affairs Committee then urged the government to consider the potentials of recycling as a way to generate jobs for the people.
“I urge the authorities to look at the proven potentials of clean recycling in creating a wealth of jobs and in restoring the environment as we grapple with the mounting job woes,” said Iñiguez. The EcoWaste Coalition, for their part, said that safe and non-toxic recycling of discards can stimulate green enterprises that can generate revenues and jobs for the communities. “Diverting funds from dirty disposal to clean recycling aside from creating jobs will also help in conserving resources and in reducing the climate impact of our wasteful lifestyle,” Ofelia Panganiban of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Task Force on Eco-Livelihood said. The group cited the work of the Invisible Project in Pasay City, Kilus Foundation in Pasig City, Rags 2 Riches in Quezon City, Preda Foundation in Olongapo City, Earth Day Network in Antipolo City, and Buklod Tao in San Mateo Rizal as some of the many innovative people-driven eco-ventures providing income to community women who skillfully transform used juice packs, tarpaulin sheets, plastic bags and fabric scraps into creative functional goods like bags. To further stress their point, EcoWaste cited the study made by the National Recycling Coalition for the US Environmental Protection Agency that illustrated the value of reuse and recycling to the US economy.
The “US Recycling Economic Information Study” showed that the country’s reuse and recycling industry employs as much as 1.1 million people and generates a whopping annual revenue of $ 236 billion.
The same study also documented that the reuse and recycling industry in US indirectly supported 1.4 million jobs in support industries such as accounting and office supply companies that have a payroll of billion and sales amounting to $ 173 billion.
Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito Roque projected 200,000 job losses in six months, while Citigroup, a US financial services company, calculated that 470,000 Filipinos could lose their jobs this year.
Author: Leslie Ann G. Aquino