Written by EcoWaste Coalition. 07/25/2013
On the occasion of this meeting, dubbed “Waste Picker Regional Training and Consultation”, held from 24 to 25 July 2013 at the University of Cebu, Banilad, Cebu City, we stand committed and united in mind, voice, and action to attain our dreams and aspirations of a better situation and livelihood, that we may rise above our poverty and ensure a better future for our children.
In view of this, we call on:
I. Our fellow waste picker members of the informal waste sector (IWS) to:
1. Join and unite around this call toward the advancement of the welfare of the waste pickers.
2. Fortify and expand the existing waste picker organizations and strengthen one another through continued organizing.
3. Work together to promote and protect the health and environment of the waste pickers by ending un-healthy, un-safe, and non-ecological waste-related practices, such as burning of wires and breaking of light bulbs and fluorescents.
II. The local and national government to:
1. Implement solid waste management program in accordance to the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 or RA 9003, and guarantee the integration of the waste pickers into it, safeguarding the latter’s access to wastes at the point of generation, collection, and final disposal.
2. Grant waste pickers’ access to clean, safe, decent, and professional role in solid waste management or to suitable alternative livelihood, especially those that are agriculture-related, at the same time capacitating them to benefit fully from these.
3. Guarantee the waste pickers’ occupational health and safety, such as in relation to exposure to hazardous and toxic wastes at work.
4. Support the establishment and strengthening of waste picker organizations and cooperatives.
5. Uphold waste pickers’ rights to social protection benefits, such as the SSS, PhilHealth, 4Ps, and even education.
6. Guarantee an opportunity for waste picker representation at both the local and national government.
7. Guarantee environmental protection to mitigate disaster, such as flooding and soil erosion.
III. Other support groups, organizations and individuals to:
1. Guarantee continued support to and promotion of the goals and actions of waste pickers toward the betterment of their situation and reinforcement of their capacities as individuals and as a sector.
Together with the groups and organizations that are here present and that express their support, we, waste pickers from Cebu City and Mandaue City, proclaim our unity and commitment to all that are here written, today, 25 July 2013, in the City of Cebu, Philippines.