The whole month of January is also known as Zero Waste Month, as mandated by Presidential Proclamation no 760, dated May 5, 2014. Zero waste is defined as an advocacy that promotes the designing and managing of products and processes to avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials. It is also defined as a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary to guide people in having a resourceful lifestyle, in which discarded materials can be re-designed as resources for others to use. Zero Waste Month is also pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

In this regard, the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR), as the National Solid Waste Management Commission Secretariat (NSWMC) has lined up a series of activities from January 26 to 29, 2016, to celebrate not only Zero Waste Month, but also the 15th Anniversary of the signing of RA 9003. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Fostering Shared Responsibility On Solid Waste Management with Local Government Units (LGUs) Through Improved Compliance of RA 9003”. This year’s celebration highlights the roles of LGUs and civil society in realizing the objectives of the Act.
Activities on the three-day celebration include sharing of best practices from LGUs like Taguig and ParaƱaque Cities in Metro Manila, San Fernando City in Pampanga, San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan, Carmona in Cavite, and Malvar in Batangas. In addition, the top three Regional Offices (ROs) of the EMB will also be recognized for their teamwork and providing technical assistance to the LGUs in the formulation, submission, and subsequent approval of their Ten -Year Solid Waste Management Plan.
Other activities include photo exhibits and lecture series on solid waste management from various partners in the private sector, LGUs, non-government organizations (NGOs), academe, and others which play key roles in the implementation of RA 9003. Their initiatives, best practices and advocacy programs will also be showcased.
Concluding the week-long celebration will be the re-launching of the Memorandum Circular 2013-01, or the “Basura-Free Elections”, with the tagline, “Kalat Ko, Sisinupin Ko”. This campaign aims to properly manage and reduce the volume of garbage generated during the election period. This campaign is a partnership between the NSWMC, DENR, Department of Interior and Local Government, and Commission on Elections.