The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) has approved the solid waste management (SWM) plans of 51 more local government units (LGUs), bringing the total number of approved plans to 1,171 or 68 percent of its target nationwide.

The SWM plans of the 51 LGUs were approved during the NSWMC-led virtual en banc meetings on November 24 and December 7.

"We are indeed progressing in our compliance with approving the 10-year SWM plans of LGUs but there's still a lot of work to do," said NSWMC Chair and DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

He added: "We will continue to assist the LGUs as we look forward that all cities and municipalities have their approved plans in the coming year. I’m grateful that Undersecretary Benny Antiporda as my Alternate Chair leads the Commission to achieve this before the end of the year."

On November 24, the NSWMC announced the approval of eight SWM plans—two in Pangasinan and one each in Cagayan, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Kalinga, and Isabela.

The remaining SWM plans were approved on December 7–one each in Negros Oriental, Cebu, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Benguet, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur; two each in Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Albay, Camarines Norte, Iloilo, Antique, and Negros Occidental; three each in Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, and Kalinga, and four in Cagayan.

"With the implementation of the approved plans, solid wastes will be managed properly; proper segregation at source will be implemented that will result to decrease in solid wastes being dumped in landfills; LGUs will have their own disposal facility that will lessen wastes leaked to the oceans," said DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda.

"Achieving all these will ultimately mitigate and eradicate adverse impacts of wastes to our environment and even in our health. The importance of solid waste management cannot be overemphasized," Antiporda also said.

Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, mandates LGUs to have their respective 10-year SWM plans for the "reuse, recycling, and composting of wastes generated" as well as the "efficient management of solid waste generated within their jurisdiction."

Each approved SWM plan takes on a holistic approach for the management of different kinds of wastes touching on strategies for waste diversion, waste collection efficiency or coverage, disposal, and operation and maintenance of SWM equipment and facility.

Due to the pandemic, among the highlighted requirements to be included in their SWM plans this year is the COVID Waste Management Plan covering COVID-19 related health care wastes, such as face masks and testing kits in accordance with NSWMC Resolution 1364, series of 2020.

The implementation of SWM plans of the LGUs is being monitored with the assistance of the Environmental Management Bureau regional offices nationwide.###