World Consumer Rights Day 2021: Tackling Plastic Pollution

With the theme, “Tackling Plastic Pollution,” the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Consumer Policy and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB) under the Consumer Protection Group (CPG), celebrated the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) 2021 through a Consumer e-Forum last 15 March 2021 via online conference.

Antiporda, Nadason, and Angeles as the Consumer e-Forum's presenters

Three authorities on addressing plastic pollution discussed their office’s measures to the participants.

Consumer e-Forum’s Presenters

•  Undersecretary Benny D. Antiporda

Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Undersecretary Antiporda presented the government’s sustainable action plans on plastic pollution. He emphasized that waste segregation must start at its source, mainly in homes.

•  Dr. Marimuthu Nadason

President, Consumers International (CI)

Dr. Nadason discussed sustainability at the global level. According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Document on Single Use Plastics, our ability to cope with plastic waste is overwhelmed since only 9% of the world’s plastic waste has been recycled. Most plastic waste end up in landfills or in the environment.

•  Mr. Allendri Angeles

Head of the City Environment and Natural Resource Office (CENRO), Local Government Unit of Pasig

Mr. Angeles shared Pasig’s projects in doing their part towards sustainable consumption, such as a mobile materials recovery facility (MRF), weekly clean-up drive operation, integrated composting facility, and various recycling programs (Recycling Collection for Education, Bokashi Composting, Creative Recycling, and Eco bags) for all of Pasig residents.

Nicdao, Enriquez, Taus, and Alvarez as the Consumer e-Forum's Reactors

Four different organizations provided their reactions on the previous presentations of the resource persons and shared their best practices on tackling plastic pollution in the Philippines.

Consumer e-Forum’s Reactors

Ms. Patricia Nicdao          

Policy and Advocacy Officer, EcoWaste Coalition  

Ms. Nicdao expressed her support to the presentations and is pleased that zero waste stores and alternatives to single-use plastics are becoming popular. Through this, we can refrain from always using disposable products. She also shared that they conducted a Waste and Brand Audit in 2020, through their Break Free From Plastic Movement, where they found out that only 2% of the plastics collected in the Philippines were considered to be recyclables, and the 98% were single-use plastics that are not recyclable and have no economic value.

•  Mr. Ryan R. Enriquez

President, National Youth Commission (NYC)

 Mr. Enriquez believes the youth has an important role in taking care of the environment. With this, Mr. Enriquez assures that the NYC will support the presenters’ campaigns towards reducing plastic wastes. The National Youth Commission plans to release a resolution for this campaign since the environment is one of the identified centers for youth participation.

•  Ms. Antoinette Taus

Founder, Communities Allocated for Resource Allocation (CORA), Inc. Foundation

Ms. Taus affirms that the key aspect in all of the presentations is that everyone needs to work together since everyone has a part to play in the environment.  She also expressed her thanks to the private and non-government organizations which plays a huge part by doing what they can to contribute in taking care of the environment. She also presented CORA’s main advocacies which are human welfare, environmentalism, and volunteerism, where one of their projects is The Sustainable Planet which develops and promotes eco-friendly products and innovations to help individuals reduce their carbon footprint.

•  Mr. June M. Alvarez

President and Executive Director, Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc.

Mr. Alvarez shared that we can replicate each other’s best practices and that wastes can be managed but there is a need for a technology which are not currently available in the Philippines. Mr. Alvarez added that information drives from the Local Government Units are important. He also discussed the programs and activities of the Green Choice Philippines, especially the Green Procurement which is the act of buying products and services where environmental considerations are included as a basis of the decision.

Castelo and Cabochan joining the virtual celebration of World Consumer Rights Day

CPG Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo, who opened the program, also had a short presentation where she emphasized that the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the global plastic pollution crisis because of the mentality that it is better to use single-use plastics and other disposable products, such as face shields, face masks, protective gloves, gears, and food packaging.

“When we talk about the effect of plastic in the environment, it is not only the environment that gets affected, it’s all of us. Because when we have the plastic pollution crisis, we will have an unsafe and unhealthy environment and it will all be a disadvantage to all of us, as consumers, and as citizens of the world,” Undersecretary Castelo added.

CPG Assistant Secretary and CPAB Concurrent Officer-in-Charge Atty. Ann Claire C. Cabochan gave the closing remarks by sharing a short story called the “Little Dutch Boy”, where a boy stayed a whole night to put his finger in a hole of a dike because he had seen that water was leaking from it. Assistant Secretary Cabochan shared, “It shows that every little effort, every selfless and sincere effort in this fight against plastic pollution, will count. Every effort is heroic and I hope that we will also inspire other people to share this advocacy with us and I am sure that if every one of us do our part, we will be able to tackle plastic pollution in our lifetime,”

Through the Consumer e-Forum, the department hopes to raise awareness on the need for collective action and the important role of consumers in curbing plastic pollution crisis. For consumer-related concerns and queries, consumers may send an email to or visit the DTI’s Consumer Care social media accounts. ♦

Date of Release: 23 March 2021