The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 2 staged five forums in celebration of the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) on 15 March 2021. The theme “Tackling Plastic Pollution” flagged consumers’ right to a healthy environment and their corresponding responsibility on environmental awareness. The Consumer Protection Division of DTI-R2 and DTI Cagayan spearheaded the activity in Sanchez Mira, Cagayan which was mirrored by its provincial counterparts in Santiago City (Isabela), Diffun (Quirino), Bayombong (Nueva Vizcaya) and Basco (Batanes).

Assistant Regional Director Ruben B. Diciano's quote on the role the consumers play towards healing and recovery from the pandemic.

With the increased use of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and single-use plastic prompted by the pandemic, DTI R2 Assistant Regional Director Ruben Diciano thru DTI Cagayan Provincial Director Ma. Salvacion Castillejos, emphasized the serious threat of plastic pollution to the environment and the greater peril it holds against humans. He said, “While most of these plastics find their way to garbage dumps, they can eventually leak into the environment and go into our water bodies such as our rivers and seas. And we would like to believe that a plastic tsunami in our waters is one of the things that we do not like to happen in the future…Hence, let us move a step forward and take an active role in being a part of the solution to this problem, at least in mitigating the global plastic pollution. As consumers, there are a lot of things that can be done which all boils down to responsible consumption.”

Giving emphasis on the role of consumers in Tackling Plastic Pollution, various DTI-recognized Consumer Organizations such as Masisit-Dacal Livelihood Cooperative (MASCOOP), Ilagan City Consumers Organization Network, Inc. (ICCONI), Diffun Saranay Development Cooperative (DISADECO), Friends of the Environment Association and Basco Consumer Welfare Association (BCWA) took active part by sharing comprehensive lectures on consumer roles and fact-based discussion on plastic pollution.
The Salient Features of Republic Act No. 9003 (Solid Waste Management Act of 2000) was also discussed by the respective resource speakers from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), its provincial counterparts (PENRO/CENRO) and complements from the respective local government units (LGUs) (MENRO or Focal Persons for Solid Waste Management).

Cagayan Municipal Mayor Hon. Asela B. Sacramed's quote encouraging consumers to join efforts to solve the environmental crisis.

Bearing unity to this end, the respective Local Chief Executives of the aforementioned LGUs namely Hon. Asela B. Sacramed, Hon. Joseph S. Tan, Hon. May C. Calaunan, Atty. Ralph C. Lantion and Hon. Demetrius Paul C. Narag expressed their full support in affixing their signatures in the Pledge of Commitment which was recited and signed at the latter part of the program. Part of their pledge was their continuing implementation of their existing waste management measures in their respective areas of responsibility.

The activity was launched in partnership with business organizations from the region, pitching in as partners of the DTI in consumer and business advocacies. To name, they are PCCI-Southern Isabela Chapter, Rotary Club of Cauayan, PCCI (Quirino), Saranay Masonic Lodge #193, United Clickers Club Philippines – Quirino Chapter, PCCI Batanes Chapter, and Rotary Club of Batanes Isles.

A total of 202 active attendees graced the forum where 56 of which hailed from Cagayan, 50 from Isabela, 26 from Quirino, 30 from Nueva Vizcaya and 40 from Batanes. These numbers coupled by the pledge made by action-oriented leaders foretell the implementation of viable measures in tackling plastic pollution through intelligent and sustainable consumption. ♦

The celebration of the World Consumer Rights Day hosted by DTI R2 proved to be a success as it accommodated a total of 202 participants.

Date of Release: 19 March 2021