Open dumpsites from 23 Local Government Units (LGUs) are reminded to be closed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The open dumpsites must be closed by March 31, 2021. Regional Development Council (RDC) 7 will ask the DENR 7 to help LGUs improve their solid waste management programs.
What is an Open Dumpsite?
An open dumpsite refers to a land disposal area wherein solid wastes are disposed of in a manner that does not protect the environment. This may include the susceptible open burning, exposure to certain elements, and scavengers. They are considered an illegal waste disposal site.
During the first RDC 7 Full Council Meeting for 2021 last Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, Aida Fe Walag, Environment Committee chairperson of the RDC 7, reported that there are still 23 LGUs in the region that have not complied with the DENR directive. According to the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of Region 7 or Central Visayas, they are the municipalities of:
Alegria, Dumanjug, Medellin, Pilar, Tabogon and Tuburan in Cebu; Getafe in Bohol; cities of Dumaguete and Guihulngan and municipalities of Amlan, Ayungon, Bacong, Bindoy, Jimalalud, La Libertad, Manjuyod, Pamplona, San Jose, Siaton, Valencia, Vallehermoso, and Zamboanguita in Negros Oriental; and the municipality of Maria in Siquijor.
Secretary Roy Cimatu of the DENR Office instructed all EMB offices to have these open dumpsites closed before the end of March this year in accordance with Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. The law strictly prohibits the establishment and maintenance of open dumpsites “as these pose serious threats to the environment and to public health.”
The RDC 7 also commended 10 LGUs for crafting and enforcing ordinances that ban single-use plastics. These LGUs are Carcar City and the municipalities of Alcantara, Alcoy, Argao, Dalaguete, Ginatilan, Madridejos and Malabuyoc in Cebu; and the municipality of Dauis in Bohol. The cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Talisay were also recognized by the RDC 7 for creating ordinances establishing a sewerage and septage management system.
It also commended the Bohol Provincial Government for its cash-from-trash program in a community coastal program cleanup on Dec. 16 to 28, 2020, where 3,043 individuals received around P1.5 in cash assistance for collecting 76,460.70 kilograms of garbage in 87 coastal and island barangays.