Govt shutting down 50 dumpsites
The government will shut down more than 50 illegal dumpsites across the country before the end of 2017, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said over the weekend.
“We target to close down more than 50 illegal dumpsites by December as a part of our intensified enforcement of Republic Act No. 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000,” Cimatu said.
Cimatu issued the statement following the Environment Department’s decision to deny the request of the Quezon City government to reopen the Payatas sanitary landfill until December this year, citing serious environmental violations and susceptibility to trash slide.
He said a number of local government units were still maintaining open dumpsites, which are prohibited under RA 9003.
Cimatu said aside from closing down the dumpsites, the DENR would also press charges against LGU executives who allowed the continued operation of open dumpsites in their localities.
“RA 9003 gives prime importance to the roles of LGUs in managing solid wastes. They are primarily responsible for the law’s implementation, not the DENR,” Cimatu said.
“The DENR’s role is limited to monitoring the compliance of LGUs with the law,” he said.
Cimatu said the DENR would shut down all open dumpsites that posed serious public health threats and adverse environmental impacts.
He said the agency planned to close a total of 500 illegal dumpsites before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends in 2022.
“All our decisions at the DENR are taken with focus on the protection of the environment and the welfare of the general public,” Cimatu said.
RA 9003 mandates all agencies and LGUs to adopt a systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program to ensure the protection of public health and environment.
It directs LGUs to utilize environmentally sound methods; set targets and guidelines for solid waste avoidance and reduction; and ensure proper segregation, collection, transport and storage of solid waste.