Opposition Senator Chiz Escudero wants the Philippine National Police (PNP) to run after polluters and violators of environment laws.
"The PNP should take the lead in enforcing our environment laws, especially when it comes to littering and dumping of garbage in our waterways," Escudero said.
The senator noted that "green courts" have already been established in the country, and the PNP will have to work double time in enforcing environment laws.
"The indiscriminate dumping of garbage on canals and waterways is one of the main reasons why our rivers and oceans have become so polluted. The PNP must see to it that laws against polluting our waterways are fully enforced," Escudero said.
He cited the plight of Pasig River, Metro Manila's main waterway, which is now considered one of the most polluted waterways in the world. Waste discharges from human settlements and factories along the river's banks have caused massive pollution and siltation.
"The Pasig River drains into Manila Bay, which has already reached pollution levels of very alarming proportions. There must be a focused drive by policemen to prevent waste dumping at the source, which are the canals and creeks of Metro Manila and nearby areas," the senator said."
"The government must send very strong signals that it is serious in caring for the environment. Enforcement is a key element in preserving the environment and yet our main law enforcement agency, the PNP, seems lax in this area," Escudero noted.
Data from the National Solid Waste Management Commission showed that Metro Manila accounts for 23 percent of the total solid waste generated in the country each year. On the average, a Filipino generates up to half a kilo of solid waste everyday.
Escudero said that a crime is a crime whether against persons, property or against the environment and it is PNP's mandate to enforce all laws.
"The PNP should go after illegal loggers, fishermen engaged in destructive fishing methods, traders of endangered species, business establishments who indiscriminately dispose of their wastes in rivers and creeks, or simply human settlers indifferent to the plight of the environment. There should be no exceptions," Escudero added.