Local chief executives who would fail to implement the approved 10-year solid waste management (SWM) plan in their respective jurisdictions, will face charges for violating Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000), even after their terms of office have ended.
Preparing and implementing such plans are required under RA 9003 which LGUs nationwide are duty-bound to carry out, noted Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Benny Antiporda.
“We’ll be filing charges against you instead of allowing the environment to degrade further.”
“We’ll be filing charges against you instead of allowing the environment to degrade further,” Antiporda warned at a meeting of the DENR-led National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) with various local government unit (LGU) officials and representatives.
The environment undersecretary said DENR will monitor LGUs with approved 10-year SWM plans to verify if their respective local chief executives are implementing these.
“It is not enough to prepare the plans since RA 9003 requires LGUs to implement these as well,” the environment official noted.
The country generates about 30,000 tons of garbage daily with Metro Manila alone accounting for 8,000 tons — highlighting the need for an SWM at the local level.
According to RA 9003, the SWM “shall refer to the discipline associated with the control of generation, storage, collection, transfer and transport, processing, and disposal of solid wastes in a manner that is in accord with the best principles of public health, economics, engineering, conservation, aesthetics, and other environmental considerations, and that is also responsive to public attitudes.”
An LGU’s SWM plan “shall place primary emphasis on implementation of all feasible re-use, recycling, and composting programs while identifying the amount of landfill and transformation capacity that will be needed for solid waste which cannot be re-used, recycled, or composted,” it reads further.
According to the NSWMC, the country’s 1,715 cities, municipalities and provinces must have their respective SWM plans.
About half of such LGUs nationwide have SWM plans which NSWMC have approved already, noted the commission. Such plans include the 160 plans NSWMC approved during the meeting, the commission continued.
Provinces with SWM plans the NSWMC had approved during the meeting are Iloilo, Capiz, Agusan del Sur, La Union and Sultan Kudarat, the commission said.
In May 2019, the country will hold its midterm elections so some local chief executives at present may no longer be incumbents beginning July 1 next year.
Antiporda said these officials will still be accountable if they have failed to implement their areas’ approved SWM plans while in office.
“Those plans aren’t just symbols of good governance but are meant to be implemented,” he said.
Antiporda urged local chief executives at present to document their SWM accomplishments so they can provide an account of these when needed. They must turn over the accomplishment documents to their successors aside from providing DENR and NSWMC copies of these.
“In the war against waste, we must set aside politics.”
“In the war against waste, we must set aside politics,” he said.
Earlier, NSWMC committed to undertaking efforts to fast-track the process of approving SWM plans, which will enable LGUs to begin implementing the same as soon as possible.