Manila parishes lead in e-waste collection and treatment
Archdiocesan Ecology Ministry official calls on the government to provide "efficient treatment facilities." A single system cannot safely treat toxic and hazardous materials. In Luzon, Church and NGOs come together for the rehabilitation of land contaminated by mining and exploration.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) - The parishes of the Archdiocese of Manila plan to work together to collect and treat used electronic parts, gadgets and appliances to contribute to environmental protection. At the same time, Lou Arsenio, ecology coordinator for the Manila archdiocese, has called on the Filipino government to provide "efficient treatment facilities" in every Manila barangay (ward).

The Filipino Catholic Church has always green-friendly, and in favour of initiatives that protect and rehabilitate the environment. Examples of this are the "greening" of the last celebration of the Black Nazarene and the protests against the environmentally-unfriendly rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

For Arsenio, having "material recovery facilities" (MRF) alone is not enough to ensure the safety discard of e-wastes. "The parishes are ready in collecting e-wastes. The question is do they have an efficient treatment facility because these are toxic," she told church-run Radio Veritas.  "These e-wastes cannot just be brought to MRF because these are special wastes or toxic wastes," she added.

The Department of Energy already has a plan to set up facilities to recover mercury and collect compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), but has not yet implement it.

Environmental group 'Ban Toxics' is raising awareness about e-waste, smart waste management and toxic use reduction.

Its members have a plan for toxic-free schools, which aims to educate teachers, students, and even parents about the basic notions of e-waste management.

Concern by the Filipino Church about ecology and the environment includes action to rehabilitate and clean up areas at risk.

Catholics and NGOs in Sorsogon and Albay provinces, in southern Luzon Island, have recently joined forces to compel foreign mining companies to rehabilitate the areas affected by mining and exploration before they leave.

The Church is not opposed to development; however, it wants resource development to go hand in hand with environmental protection, which is a human right that must be upheld now and for future generations.