The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)—through the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC)—on Monday filed with the Office of the Ombudsman criminal and administrative complaints against an incumbent city mayor, former town mayor and other local government officials for allegedly allowing the operation of open dumpsites in their respective localities.

Mayor Krisel Lagman Luistro of Tabaco City in Albay province and former mayor Lilver Roque of Limay town in Bataan province were named as principal respondents in two separate complaints for violation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

RA 9003, particularly Section 37, strictly prohibits the establishment and maintenance of open dumpsites, which pose serious threat to the environment and public health.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns Benny D. Antiporda, with NSWMC Commissioner Romeo G. Hidalgo, filed the complaints with the Ombudsman’s office.

“We are doing this because we want to show to everyone that the DENR and the NSWMC are serious in their role of seeing to it that RA 9003 is strictly complied with, especially by local government officials,” Antiporda said.

The law provides that LGUs are primarily responsible for waste segregation and disposal, Antiporda pointed out.

In the complaint filed against Luistro, the DENR is holding her liable for the illegal operation of an open dumpsite in Barangay San Vicente in Tabaco City, where two temporary residual containment areas were constructed.

Aside from Luistro, also named as respondent in the complaint was City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Reynold Martirez.

In a separate complaint, Roque and other Limay local officials were accused of being “responsible for the operation of the open dumpsites” in Barangays St. Francis I and Alangan.

It will be recalled that Antiporda himself served the closure order for the dumpsite in Barangay St. Francis I last May 9. It was learned that after the dumpsite was closed, the local government of Limay, then headed by Roque, opened another dumpsite in Barangay Alangan.

Roque’s co-respondents were his planning and development officer RomarioPanangui and Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer Randy Cacho, and incumbent Limay General Services Office head Danilo Quinto.

Administrative complaints were also filed against the respondents for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. #