Teach children segregation right at home, reinforce the habit in school and environmental concern becomes second nature.

This is the essence of the National Ecosavers Program jointly launched by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Galing Pook Foundation, according to a release by DepEd.

The move is governed by the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (Republic Act No. 9003) which established the legal and technical framework for a systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program.

R.A. 9003 requires the DepEd to strengthen the integration of environmental concerns in school curricula, with particular emphasis on the theory and practice of resource conservation, recovery, segregation at source and recycling. The parties agree to collaborate in the replication of best practices in ecological solid waste management in public elementary and secondary schools in Metro Manila in cooperation with the concerned local government units.

DepEd is tapped to educate the students on the importance of environmental conservation and protection as it relates to sustainable development.

Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said the program will encourage students even at a young age to practice waste segregation at home and the collection of recyclable materials which could teach them the value of sipag at sinop. “This can be a good environmental habit which when first taught at our children’s respective homes can be reinforced strongly in schools,” said Luistro.

Based on the agreement students will be taught collection and segregation of recyclable materials. In schools, a storage and transaction area for recyclables will be identified and an incentive system for students in exchange of recyclable wastes will be established. Biodegradable wastes will be composted in support of the National Greening Program.

The DENR, through the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) shall lead in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the program and provide technical and funding support to DepEd to enable the schools and the LGUs to effectively implement the program. It will also link the schools with junkshops and recycler associations for the marketing of recyclable wastes.

The DepEd shall assist in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the program and provide overall supervision in the implementation of the program at school level. It will also ensure the integration of ecological solid waste management concepts and principles in the academic curricula.

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