On the occasion of this meeting, dubbed “Waste Picker Regional Training and Consultation”, held on 3 September 2013 at the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement Bldg., Quezon 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 members of the informal waste sector (IWS) to:
1. Join and unite around this call, through close coordination and strong cooperation, toward the advancement of the welfare of the IWS.
2. Fortify and expand the existing IWS organizations and strengthen one another through continued organizing.
3. Work together to promote and protect the health and environment of the IWS by ending un-healthy, un-safe, and non-ecological waste-related practices, such as burning of wastes and wires, and breaking of light bulbs and fluorescents.
II. The local and national government to:
1. Advance the right of the IWS, such as the following:
a. The right to education of the IWS children;
b. The right of the IWS children to be protected against child labor, through strict implementation of policies prohibiting child waste picking;
c. The right to be recognized as a sector, to be respected, and to be protected from discrimination and inhumane treatment, such as by authorities;
d. The right to education, such as through knowledge and skills development, toward the strengthening of the IWS capacities, and further toward an improved well-being and dignified life;
e. The right to work safely and without harm to one’s health;
f. The right to proper housing and basic necessities, such as clean potable water, proper toilets, and electricity;
g. The right to social protection benefits, such as 4Ps, PhilHealth, and SSS.
2. 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 IWS into it, safeguarding their clean, safe, decent, and professional work in solid waste management, from the point of waste generation, to collection, and final disposal.
3. For members of the IWS who opt for this; to be afforded with appropriate alternative livelihoods, at the same time, capacitating them to benefit fully from the latter.
4. Guarantee an opportunity for IWS representation at both the local and national government, as well as at concerned national government agencies.
5. Support the establishment and strengthening of IWS organizations and cooperatives toward the betterment of their situation.
6. Stop corruption at both the local and national government, and use government funds correctly, especially to address poverty, primarily the IWS situation.
III. Other support groups, organizations and individuals to:
1. Guarantee continued support to and promotion of the goals and actions of the IWS 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, members of the IWS from Batangas City; Cavite City; G.M.A. in the Province of Cavite; Pier 18 and Smokey Mountain in the City of Manila; Payatas in Quezon City; and Rodriguez in the Province of Rizal, proclaim our unity and commitment to all that are here written, today, 3 September 2013, in Quezon City, Philippines.