MAKATI, April 10 – With the celebration of World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) in the Philippines, the Department of Commerce and Industry (DTI) led through the Consumer Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB) of the Consumer Protection Group (CPG) on March 19, 2021 ran the first e-forum for consumer youth through an online conference.
With the WCRD 2021 theme “Combating Plastic Pollution”, the DTI, along with the National Youth Commission (NYC), ran the first e-forum for consumer youth to educate youth and highlight the importance of actively participating in addressing one of the most pressing environmental issues today , Plastic pollution.
Ancient Representative Deputy Speaker Hon. Loren Legarda conveyed the basic message with the reminder that “Plastics are easily thrown away, but we cannot so easily rid ourselves of the consequences because, as you know, those consequences include the effects on the environment . ”Hon. Legarda admits that plastic is ubiquitous, practical, and it can be difficult to remain aware of its consequences. The greatest challenge, therefore, is the need for a lifestyle change in which people give up the usual convenience of the throwaway culture and embrace the hard work of a zero-waste lifestyle. Hon. Legarda also believes that young people are the drivers of social and environmental change as they are more exposed to environmental education and have better opportunities to access and share information about the environment.
Jeremy S. Marquez, Executive Director of the Construction Industry of the Philippines, delivered a message of support admitting that plastic consumption in the construction industry is high, but through one of the pillars of the Philippines
Roadmap 2020-2030 of the construction industry, which represents sustainability, the construction industry actively promotes the principle of sustainability and biological diversity in their planning, implementation and evaluation. Ms. Antoinette Taus, founder of Communities Organized for Resources Allocation (CORA), Inc., shared her message of support. Ms. Taus shared that love, courage and determination are important for the campaign to protect the environment. She adds that the youth should not forget the power they have as they are the future of this world.
Eight youth group initiatives presented the plastic pollution-related environmental problems they are facing in their communities and how they are currently helping to address them.
• Mr. Adrian Camposagrado from The EstrawngHeroes of Tigbauan, Iloilo
• Mr. Eddie Mar Velo, President of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of Flora, Apayao
• MS. Marian Jule Cedeño, President of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of Kapatagan, Lanao Del Norte
• Engr. Angelica Anabeza, Chair of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of Brgy. Calajo-an, Minglanilla, Cebu
• Mr. Lemuel Gio Cayabyab, member of Youth Organizations Registration Program (YORP) and owner of Manggaan from Brgy. Roxas, San Carlos City, Pangasinan
• Ms. Fatima Villaseñor, Youth Development Officer of the Province of Sta. Cruz, Laguna
• Mr. Ardnie Buhat, Vice President of the Bread Society from Quezon City
• Mr. Jerome Suratos, President of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation from San Fabian, Pangasinan
Ms. Rose Chell Anne C. Rojas, the responsible head of the cluster in North Luzon, gave the highlights of all presentations by the youth leaders. Ms. Rojas proudly announced that the youth programs and projects will make a difference in environmental sustainability and in solving problems related to plastic pollution.
CPG Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo, who opened the program, also gave a short presentation in which she emphasized that while plastic is an extremely useful material in our daily lives, our consumption and production of plastics, especially single-use plastics, are no longer sustainable and are causing negative environmental impacts. “We all have to act, we all have to come together, especially the youth. The youth would be the best advocate of tackling plastic pollution, ”added Undersecretary Castelo.
While appreciating the presentations made by youth groups on the fight against plastic pollution, Undersecretary Castelo also hopes the NYC will help influence youth members so that they can also be consumer ambassadors in the fight against plastic pollution.
CPG Assistant Secretary and CPAB Concurrent Officer-in-Charge Atty. Ann Claire C. Cabochan said she was inspired by all of the presentations, especially the programs and activities of the youth presenters. Deputy Secretary Cabochan hopes we will do what is really useful and what is environmentally friendly.
The closing remarks were made by NYC Chairman Mr. Ryan R. Enriquez, who pledges that NYC and all youth groups will work hand in hand to promote the separation, recycling and other programs of waste as it will be of great help for the alarming cases it will be of plastic pollution here in the Philippines.
Mr. Enriquez also shared that the Consumer Youth E-Forum is a good place to start to raise awareness about the environment. He also thanked DTI warmly and reminded everyone to know their consumer rights and obligations
Through the Consumer Youth E-Forum, the department hopes youth will be a powerful driving force in the fight against plastic pollution. If you have any concerns or questions about the consumer, email [email protected] or [email protected] (DTI)