The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has padlocked two local government-run open dumpsites in Misamis Oriental as it continues to pursue its commitment of closing all open dumpsites across the country before the end of March 2021.

"The closure of the two open dumpsites in Misamis Oriental is in compliance with the deadline set by DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu to cease the operations of all open dumpsites in the country by March this year," Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda said.

DENR has stopped the operations of 3,000-square meter and one-hectare open dumpsites in the municipalities of Talisayan and Salay, respectively, last Jan. 25.

Under Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, no open dumps should be established and operated by any person or even local governments.

Antiporda said the full implementation of RA 9003 has been at the top of Cimatu’s priority since he assumed his post in 2017.

Prior to the closure, Antiporda held a virtual conference with the DENR regional directors on how to go about with the closure of all dumpsites within their respective jurisdictions.

DENR-Environmental Management Bureau Regional Director Reynaldo Digamo said Talisayan Mayor Rommel Maslog and Salay Mayor Angelo Capistrano Jr. have been cooperative with the closure of the dumpsites.

"Both mayors expressed their needs for financial assistance to complete and sustain the implementation of their solid waste management programs," Digamo said.

Around 200 open dumpsites are still operating across the country, according to the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), which is chaired by Cimatu.

So far, 38 open dumpsites have been closed down by the DENR following Cimatu's directive to close all open dumpsites by end of March.

Antiporda, who serves as the alternate chair of the NSWMC, said the DENR will be adopting a "clustered approach” in the development of sanitary landfills (SLFs) nationwide to enable local governments to implement their solid waste management programs.

The NSWMC data showed that Luzon would require some 140 SLFs to service some 772 local government units (LGUs); Visayas with 32 SLFs for 408 LGUs; and Mindanao with 34 SLFs for 337 LGUs. #