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Environmental Issues in the Philippines

Improper Solid Waste Management Waste management in the Philippines has been an issue for over the past twenty years now. Most Cities are facing land depletion problems due to abounding number of landfills. Waste management problem arise due to improper waste management programs implemented that fall under the same category: band aid solution. Improper solid waste management is one of the causes why we are suffering from different natural catastrophes such as rampant flooding and dying rivers and lakes. With this massive solid waste generation, it undeniably causes rampant flooding. Important constituents of solid waste which contributes to floods are the plastic carrier bags. These solid materials slowly enter into the drainage system clogging the drainage canals and outlets. The issue on solid waste management impinges development, safety and security of the human race. It aggravates mother earth, thus, we suffer from natures anger. Improper Waste Management in the Philippines is never ending unless the initiative of every individual will be awakened. It is just a matter of care plus a kick of inventiveness in order to resolve this infinite quandary. Boracay Sewer System Boracays Department of Tourism believes that there has been over-development with regards to hotels and resorts on the island that it is becoming too much and cannot be regulated effectively. As a result, many of the establishments on the island fail to adhere to numerous building laws and local ordinances in terms of construction procedures, health concerns of workers and residents, the general environment of the area and local commerce are concerned and affected. One of the most pressing problems which the Boracay Department of Tourism wishes to address is the sewer system of the island. Currently, there is no existing system for draining the sewers of effluence and that which takes into account the building of more resorts and hotels and creating space for any needed modifications so that when new buildings will not impede or intersect the sewer lines of other establishments and causing blockages or leaks. Deforestation Between 1990 and 2005, the Philippines lost one-third of its forest cover. The current deforestation rate is around 2% per year, a 20 % drop from the rate of the 1990s. The removal of forest cover makes the Philippines susceptible to various environmental catastrophes. Deforestation has been

increasingly blamed for soil erosion. Although not considered a serious threat, it is an unseen scourge. At least two provinces Cebu and Batangas have lost more than 80% of their topsoil to erosion. In Luzon, four major basins --Bicol, Magat, Pampanga, and Agno are in critical condition due to acute soil erosion and sedimentation. The rampant cutting of trees has also significantly reduced the volume of groundwater available for domestic purposes. If the forest perishes, so will the life of people, said Diosmedes Demit, one of the farmers who joined the Fast for the Forests in 1989. The trees are our source of life. Without trees, there will be no water. If there is no water, there will be no life. Cebu, which has zero forest cover, is 99% dependent on groundwater. As a result, more than half of the towns and cities in Cebu, excluding Metro Cebu, have no access to potable water. In Metro Manila, where there are no forests to speak of, the water tables are being drawn at the rate of six to 12 meters a year causing saline water intrusion along the coastal areas. Deforestation also brings too much water in case of constant rain. Rain which falls over a bare slope acts differently, Gifford Pinchot wrote in A Primer for Forestry. It is not caught by the crowns nor held by the floor, nor is its flow into the streams hindered by the timber. The result is that a great deal of water reaches the streams in a short time, which is the reason why floods occur. Remember the Ormoc tragedy in Leyte? More than five thousand people were reported to have perished from flash foods, injuring 292 others with 1,264 missing. The reported total cost of damage was P1.044 billion. Deforestation also threatens the countrys wildlife resources. Two particular species of animals, the tamaraw and thePhilippines eagle are almost extinct due to the massive deforestation. More than half the birds, amphibians and mammals endemic to the Philippines are threatened with extinction.