Written by Eco Waste Coalition. 07/31/2013
On the occasion of this meeting, dubbed “Waste Picker Regional Training and Consultation”, held from 30 to 31 July 2013 at the UCCP Shalom Center, Davao 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. Ensure the access of waste pickers to basic requirements, services and utilities, such as to be able to live in one’s own house and piece of land.
2. Ensure access to education of waste pickers’ children, and even of waste pickers themselves.
3. Uphold waste pickers’ rights to social protection benefits, such as the 4Ps, PhilHealth, and SSS.
4. Guarantee the waste pickers’ occupational health and safety, such as in relation to exposure to hazardous and toxic wastes at work.
5. 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.
6. Grant waste pickers’ access to clean, safe, decent, and professional role in solid waste management or to suitable alternative livelihood, capacitating them to benefit fully from these.
7. Afford the respect due the waste pickers, protecting them from discrimination.
8. Support the establishment and strengthening of waste picker organizations and cooperatives toward the betterment of their situation.
9. Guarantee an opportunity for waste picker representation at both the local and national government.
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 Davao City; Cagayan de Oro City; General Santos City; and Butuan City, proclaim our unity and commitment to all that are here written, today, 31 July 2013, in the City of Davao, Philippines.