The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has surpassed most of its 2019 targets on solid waste management with the strict implementation of the Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Unit Concerns Benny D. Antipordasaid the DENR never failed in providing technical assistance to local government units (LGUs) to ensure their compliance with the provisions of the said law.

“We can say that the DENR has been doing its part insofar as RA 9003 is concerned,” Antiporda said. “We are always here to empower LGUs, but we also expect them to enforce the law to its full extent.”

Under RA 9003, LGUs are primarily responsible for the effective and efficient solid waste management, particularly garbage segregation and disposal.

Every LGU is required to develop a 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP), including the establishment of materials recovery facilities (MRF) and sanitary landfills.

Antiporda said that as early as October this year, the DENR had already met or even exceeded some of its 2019 targets on solid waste management.

He noted that the DENR—through the National Solid Waste Management Commission—had evaluated 605 SWMPs, surpassing the 2019 target of 528.

The agency, he said, approved 410 SWMPs and monitored the implementation of 618 rehabilitation plans, accomplishing 103 percent and 128 percent of the annual targets of 400 and 482, respectively.

It also assessed a total of 340 open and controlled dumpsites, Antiporda said. The environment chief had earlier ordered the closure of all open and controlled dumpsites by 2022.

The DENR, with support from the regional offices of its Mines and Geosciences Bureau, had assessed 84 proposed sites of sanitary landfills nationwide, overshooting its target of 48 by 75 percent.

So far this year, Antiporda said that 509 out of 580 established MRFs have been supported by the DENR. “We expect Regions 3, 9, 13 and CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region) to accomplish this activity by end of December 2019,” he added.

Moreover, Antiporda said the monitoring and assessment of all existing MRFs, including those with composting facilities, showed an accomplishment of 106 percent or 2,833 of the 2019 target of 2,661.

“Continuous monitoring and implementation of comprehensive rehabilitation program for the Manila Bay were some of the best measures which greatly affected the high accomplishment,” Antiporda pointed out. ###