The worsening impacts of global warming, climate change, and pollution exposed the inefficiencies and inadequacies in Philippine waste management systems. Inaction towards developing and integrating sustainable and strategic waste management frameworks and mechanisms — particularly in the circular economy — warrants, long-term socio-economic, public health, and environmental losses.
For a developing country like the Philippines, population growth and increasing urbanization heavily affect resource demand and consumption, which, in turn, drive waste generation. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s population is projected to reach about 115 million by mid-2025. Consistent with population growth, data from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) indicates that by the end of 2025, the country is expected to reach a total of 69.48 million tons of waste, or an average of 23.17 million tons per annum from 2023 to 2025. In particular, the World Bank estimates that 2.7 million tons of waste generated annually are plastics.
Unfortunately, the country is already at the edge of a post-consumer plastic waste disaster as linear waste management models, coupled with consumers’ “throw-away culture” and reliance on sachets, continue to persist. To address this looming environmental crisis, the Philippine government passed into law Republic Act No. 11898, or the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022. This measure seeks to institutionalize the practice of circular business models to divert plastic wastes away from landfills and prevent their leakage into the environment.
Like any large-scale endeavor, integrating circular economy frameworks and mechanisms at scale would require the support and participation of all stakeholders in order to succeed. In the case of integrating EPR programs for plastic waste, it is not just the government that is expected to exert efforts through the formulation and implementation of policies. Industry players equally make a valuable contribution through their investments and programs that are aligned with circular business models.
In light of this, the Stratbase ADR Institute and its environmental partners, the Philippine Business for Environmental Stewardship (PBEST) and Climate Reality Project (CRP) Philippines, organized a hybrid town hall discussion (THD) entitled, “Philippine Circular Economy Agenda: Integrating Sustainable and Strategic Waste Management”, held on the 23 February 2023, Thursday, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM (PHT) at the Macario Sacay Function Room, Quezon City Sports Club.
This event gathered key stakeholders from diverse sectors who will discuss the national government’s circular economy agenda, the private sector’s circular business model initiatives that can be adopted at scale, and consumer responsibilities in effective waste management. This event also aims to contribute to the growing discussions regarding sustainability and to present feasible solutions in waste management in the country now and moving forward.
Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit
President, Stratbase ADR Institute
Keynote Address: Integrating Circular Models of Waste Management in the Philippines
Hon. Carlos Primo “CP” David
Undersecretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
Highlights of RA 11898: EPR Act of 2022 – Government Initiatives Against Plastic Waste
Hon. Gilbert Gonzales
Director, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB)
OIC Assistant Secretary for Field Operations – Luzon and Visayas, DENR
Public Perception on Sustainable Production and Consumption: Presentation of the November 2022 Survey Results
Dr. Ronald Holmes
President, Pulse Asia Research, Inc.;
Full-time Professor, Department of Political Science and Development Studies, De La Salle University – Manila
The Climate Lens/Context of the Plastic Crisis
Ms. Nazrin Castro
Branch Manager, The Climate Reality Project Philippines
The Private Sector’s Role in Implementing and Ensuring an Inclusive Shift Towards a Circular Economy
Mr. Alexander Cabrera
Vice President, Management Association of the Philippines (MAP);
Chairman Emeritus, PwC Philippines
Catalyzing a Circular 4th Industrial Revolution through Technology Innovation
Mr. Carlo Chen-Delantar
Circular Economy Pioneer, Ellen MacArthur Foundation Philippines
Engr. Felix Jose Vitangcol
Secretary-General, Philippine Business for Environmental Stewardship (PBEST)
Ms. Mary Joyce Ilas
Communications and Advocacy Lead, Stratbase ADR Institute