Santiago, city environment officer named ‘Refill Champions’

Mayor Edwin “EdSa” Santiago and City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Regina Rodriguez were named “Refill Champions” by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) Region 3 for their exceptional contributions in combating plastic pollution.

Santiago and Rodriguez personally accepted the award during the Environmental Summit – Awarding of Refill Champions hosted by the agency on September 5, 2019 at Royce Hotel and Casino in Clarkfield, Pampanga.

The said recognition was for the City Government of San Fernando’s efforts toward an active campaign and staging of “Refill Revolution,” a brainchild of the DENR-EMB which encourages the community to use their own bottles and containers in buying products from selected partner suppliers, at discounted prices.

“Malaki ang pasasalamat natin sa DENR-EMB dahil binuo nila itong programang ‘Refill Revolution’ na tiyak na nakakatulong sa ating kalikasan. Sa pag-adapt natin ng programang ito, ang goal lang natin ay hikayatin ang mga Fernandino na iwasan na ang paggamit ng sobrang plastik. Hindi natin alam na may katumbas din pala itong rekognisyon,” said Santiago during an interview.

Following its launch in Guiguinto, Bulacan on April 2018, CSF became the second local government unit to host “Refill Revolution” two months after. CSF held another “Refill Revolution” in December of the same year.

The last two editions of the project in San Fernando were in February and May of this year, for the Cityhood Anniversary and Pyestang Fernandino celebrations, respectively.

Meanwhile, DENR 3 Director Paquito Moreno, Jr., in his speech presented by Assistant Regional Director Arthur Salazar, said that this recognition should become both an inspiration and challenge to the LGU champions.

“As you receive the recognition, may you be more inspired and challenged at the same time to influence more people to be protective of our environment. May you reach sustainable development without compromising ecological stability,” he said.

In a brief overview presented by the agency during the summit, it was learned that plastic bags that people use on a daily basis take 10-l to 1000 years to decompose, while plastic bottles can take 450 years or more, and, through the program, the use of plastic waste will gradually be decreased.

Apart from Central Luzon LGUs, several barangays and private institutions were also recognized by the agency for their “green efforts.”