The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has reiterated its call for local government units (LGUs) to practice proper segregation at source in managing the disposal of solid wastes.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu issued this call after reports of negligent disposal of solid wastes have reached the agency.

“It has come to our attention that after closing the illegally operating dumpsites, there are LGUs that are not properly disposing of their solid waste,” Cimatu pointed out, noting reports that some garbage has been left uncollected.

“We are warning these LGUs to seriously manage their wastes. Or else face consequences of violating Republic Act 9003,” added Cimatu.

Section 10 of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 states that the collection of non-recyclable materials and special waste is the responsibility of the municipality or city.

Segregation and collection of solid waste shall be conducted at the barangay level. Waste shall be sorted according to type--biodegradable, compostable, and recyclables.

On the other hand, DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns Benny D. Antiporda, who led the majority of the closures of illegally operating dumpsites, said the DENR will not tolerate negligence of solid waste management and will not hesitate to call out erring LGUs.

He cited the closure of a garbage transfer station in Cebu City last month for failure to transfer garbage to a sanitary landfill (SLF) within 24 hours. The pile of waste reached 10.8 meters high, which technically makes it an open dumpsite.

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-Region 3, in its report dated July 26, 2021 said a previously closed and rehabilitated dumpsite in Brgy. Macabaklay in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija, was reopened and operated as an open dumpsite.

In addition, in its inspection of a transfer station in Brgy. Pambuan, also in the same city, the “accumulation of solid waste which were directly in contact to the soil surface as well as infestation of flies” and “obnoxious odor was also perceived.”

The EMB regional office immediately issued a notice of violation to the city government of Gapan for violation of RA 9003 and directed it “to cause the immediate closure and rehabilitation of the subject open dumpsite.”
Nonetheless, Antiporda, who is also the Alternate Chair of the National Solid Waste Management Commission, said the DENR is more than willing to provide technical assistance to those who are planning to have their own disposal facility.

In Masbate, Antiporda said, the local government of Brgy. Divisoria in Cawayan, which previously discarded its waste through the-now closed dumpsite, has called DENR for assistance on their waste disposal. EMB-Region 5 has already acted on the concern.

As required in the 10-year solid waste management plan of LGUs, in instances that an LGU does not have a facility for final disposal of its residual wastes, it is required to put up a residual waste disposal system while planning for the establishment of its sanitary landfill.

If the LGU is not capable of putting up its own SLF, it is are encouraged to cluster up with neighboring LGUs for the establishment of a clustered SLF.

The DENR under the leadership of Cimatu has been relentless in its campaign against open dumpsites by strictly implementing RA 9003.

Earlier this year, the DENR had completed the shutdown of 335 illegally operating open dumpsites nationwide. ###