EMB to file cases vs LGUs that fail to close dumpsite

LEGAZPI CITY  – The newly installed Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) regional director  here said that the agency will be forced to file a case against local government unit (LGU) that failed to close their open dumpsite in violation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law also otherwise known as Republic Act No. 9003.

In a media briefing conducted at the EMB regional office Tuesday (Dec. 14), Regional Director Fernando Quililan said that there are still about 60 LGUs in the region or 55 percent that have not closed their open dumps as required by law.

He said that Section 37 of the law requires that no open dumpsite shall be operated by LGUs after five years following the affectivity of the law in 2001.

Quililan said that under the three-strike policy contained in the National Solid Waste Management Commission Resolution (NSWMC) No. 17 series of 2009, the Council issued the first notice of strike to 69 LGUs in the Bicol region in Aug. 27, 2008 that were still operating an open or controlled dumpsite despite the lapse of time for them to close the dumpsite.

While the second notice of strike according to the EMB director was issued by the NSWMC on Jan. 26, 2010 to LGUs concerned that still failed to close their open dumpsite and failed to set up a materials recovery facility (MRF).

Meanwhile, three LGUs from Masbate were issued the third and final strike notice middle of this year because of failure of these LGUs to comply with the law and a case will be filed against LGU officials for failing to comply with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law.

Quililan said that the penalties imposed by the law for still operating an open dumpsite is P500,000 plus five percent of net annual income of the LGU found guilty and one to three years imprisonment for the LGU official involved.

The EMB director stressed the importance for the LGUs to seriously give importance to the setting up of sanitary landfills in their area of jurisdiction considering that in the Bicol region alone a total of 1,532 metric tons of garbage is generated every day which is equivalent to at least 255 truck loads of waste.

He praised the Legazpi City government for being the first LGU to establish a sanitary landfill facility located in Barangay Banquerohan.

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