As part of its ongoing efforts to address pollution in Manila Bay, 161 of the 178 local government units (LGUs) in the eight provinces comprising the Manila Bay area have been provided shredder-composter units through the joint effort of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Senator Cynthia Villar.
“This is part of our continuing efforts to clean up Manila Bay, as ordered in the Supreme Court continuing mandamus. Solid waste management is a major concern in the rehabilitation of the bay along with the illegal discharge of untreated wastewater,” DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said.
“Villar’s untiring and unrelenting advocacy for environmental stewardship has amplified the DENR’s voice.”
Cimatu likewise cited Villar’s “untiring and unrelenting advocacy for environmental stewardship has amplified the DENR’s voice and be clearly heard within the halls of the Senate”.
“Undoubtedly, her advocacy has been a big push for the DENR strides to overcome profound challenges particularly in getting LGUs to prioritize compliance with RA 9003 in their governance, especially in the Manila Bay area,” the environment chief said.
DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny Antiporda said the 161 units of shredder-composter have been formally turned over to the respective local governments.
“This is a huge help to LGUs to comply with the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. It is anchored on the support Senator Villar has been giving to us in the DENR,” Antiporda said.
The environment official added Villar’s effort “raises the call for effective solid waste management as a major concern in the country’s discourse on governance both at the national and local level”.
He cited the lady lawmaker’s determination to equip all LGUs with composting facilities, which not only facilitates compliance of LGUs with RA 9003 but also with the Supreme Court Mandamus on Manila Bay Rehabilitation for LGUs to adopt measures to prevent dumping of solid and liquid wastes into Manila Bay’s water.
The Manila Bay region consists of the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac in Central Luzon; Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna in CALABARZON; and the 16 cities and one municipality in Metro Manila.
Of the 161 shredder-composter units distributed, Laguna received 30; Nueva Ecija, 30; Bulacan, 24; Pampanga, 22; Cavite, 23; Rizal, 14; Bataan, 12; and Tarlac, 6.
The remaining 17 are up for bidding and the DENR aims to complete the bidding process and installation, and to turn them over to their respective LGU hosts within the quarter.
“The shredder-composter equipment will reduce the amount of waste that ends up in sanitary landfills.”
Antiporda reiterated the importance of the shredder-composter equipment as it will not only reduce the amount of waste that ends up in sanitary landfills but also transform the diverted wastes into assets such as organic fertilizer and soil enhancers, which are valuable to agriculture and horticulture.
“We appeal to the LGUs to use these assets fully and properly,” he stressed.
The first batch of five shredder-composter units was rolled out in December 2020 for San Fernando City and the towns of Apalit, Candaba, Guagua, and Magalang in the province of Pampanga.
The equipment, which costs around P1 million each, should be installed near the materials recovery facilities operated by host LGUs and should be supplied with an independent electrical source fitted with an emergency shutdown device as a safety measure.
Each unit requires a floor area measuring 84 square meters or a dimension of 12 meters by seven meters and is operated by at least two to three certified operators trained by the DENR- Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).
The DENR-EMB will conduct random inspection of the equipment to monitor compliance of the LGUs with the memorandum of agreement and compliance of equipment suppliers on the warranty provisions.