NEA officers trained to carry out roles

NEA officers checking for mosquito larvae in Woodlands.
NEA officers checking for mosquito larvae in Woodlands. ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

We thank Mr Mok Soh Hah for his feedback (Not right anti-litter message, May 31).

We agree with him that everyone has a part to play in upholding the high standards of cleanliness and public health in Singapore.

We are encouraged that the vast majority of residents do bin their litter, and some even participate actively in litter-picking activities.

Through these actions, they demonstrate gracious and responsible behaviour, while showing consideration to our fellow residents and cleaners alike.

Unfortunately, there is a minority of residents who still litter. The National Environment Agency (NEA) takes strict enforcement action against those who litter.

Last year, about 39,000 tickets were issued for littering offences, and about 2,600 repeat offenders were made to perform Corrective Work Order. Both numbers are higher than in 2017.

Notwithstanding this, the NEA takes a multi-pronged approach to littering.

We also devote significant resources to engage a wide range of stakeholders in the community to promote social graciousness and a greater sense of ownership in keeping Singapore clean.

These stakeholders include residents, schools, communities, private and public organisations, as well as foreign workers.

Many of these stakeholders conduct ground-up activities such as litter-picking brisk walks, beach and park cleanup exercises and cleaner-appreciation days.

Our Litter-Free Ambassadors lead by example to encourage everyone in their communities to keep shared spaces clean.

Mr Mok suggested that enforcement officers should exercise discretion to give warning to littering offenders.

There are strict guidelines and standard operating procedures for enforcement officers to follow, and they undergo structured training to carry out their roles effectively.

Beyond these, due to the nature and consequence of enforcement actions, discretion is minimised to avoid ambiguity and to ensure the integrity of the enforcement process.

The NEA will continue to complement enforcement efforts by working with like-minded stakeholders, as well as partnering the Public Hygiene Council to achieve a clean and liveable environment.

Tony Teo

Director, Environmental Public Health Operations

National Environment Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2019, with the headline 'NEA officers trained to carry out roles'. Print Edition | Subscribe