The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), recently approved the 10-year solid waste management plans (SWMPs) of 54 cities and municipalities across the country.

This now brings to 1,263 the total number of approved SWMPs, which accounts for 79 percent of all 1,592 local government units (LGUs) required to submit and implement their plans in accordance with Republic Act (RA) 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

In its April 25, 2023 en banc meeting presided over by DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga, the NSWMC approved the SWMPs of 54 LGUs: nine each in Northern Samar and Negros Occidental; three each in Iloilo, Cotabato and Camarines Sur; two each in Ilocos Sur, Masbate, Negros Oriental, Misamis Oriental, Catanduanes, Albay, Batanes, and Cebu; and one each in Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Sorsogon, Antique, Bohol, Zamboanga Del Sur, Quezon, Camarines Norte, and Lanao del Norte.

During the meeting, Loyzaga highlighted the importance of collaboration between the NSWMC and its stakeholders for an effective solid waste management system in the country.

“If we are not able to manage solid waste in the environment, we will not be able to deliver the kind of ecosystem services and ecosystem integrity we want to have to support succeeding generations,” Loyzaga said.

The DENR chief also discussed possible ways to further improve NSWMC’s operations and systems, including the enhancement of an end-to-end profiling that provides information on solid wastes and how these are managed, treated, and disposed.

“How we get there in terms of digital processes, observations, and systems is one of the challenges that needs to be confronted by all the stakeholders on this council,” she added.

Present during the meeting were representatives from the DENR and its Environmental Management Bureau, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Science and Technology, Mother Earth Philippines, Ecowaste Coalition, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Health, and representatives from the recycling, and manufacturing/packaging industry.

Under RA 9003, LGUs are mandated to formulate 10-year SWMPs that conform to the National Solid Waste Management Framework of the NSWMC.

The SWMPs of LGUs include information on projected population and waste generation, and their corresponding targets in collection, segregation at source, waste diversion, materials recovery facility compliance, collection vehicle, disposal facility, and budget within a period of 10 years. #