BAGUIO CITY – The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) is willing to extend the appropriate assistance to all local government units for the establishment of the necessary sol-id waste disposal facilities to help address their respective garbage problems pursuant to the pro-visions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
EMB Director Gilbert Gonzales informed stakeholders that aside from the establishment of engineered sanitary landfill in the different cities and municipalities, there are other available state-of-the-art technologies that could be put in place in order for local governments to comply with the closure of their respective open dumpsites and controlled dump facilities for health rea-sons and improved state of their environment.
“Our regional offices will be available to extend assistance to concerned local govern-ments wanting to adopt available technologies to address their respective garbage problems in case there are serious problems confronting the local governments from pursuing the establish-ment of engineered sanitary landfills in their areas or a cluster of cities and municipalities,” Gon-zales stressed.
The EMB official agreed there is a need to review the existing guidelines on the compli-ance of local governments to the solid waste management law because of problems on the inade-quacy of lands to put up landfills, the presence of conflicting claims over available lands and the mountainous terrain of highland areas like the Cordillera that deprive local governments the chance to comply with the requirements of the law.
According to him, other technologies like the put up of waste-to-energy plants among others will be readily available for local governments to embrace depending on their updated sol-id waste management plans so that those who cannot qualify for the establishment of landfills will have alternative modes of addressing their respective garbage problems.
However, Gonzales emphasized that solutions to the garbage problem of localities should not be solely lodged with the city or municipal governments but formulating solutions to such problems is an individual and collective effort of local residents who should first strictly adhere to the segregation of waste at source in order to initially lessen the garbage being dumped in the pickup stations in their respective places.
He explained local governments must first formulate their respective solid waste man-agement plans in order to provide details on how local officials will effectively and efficiently address pressing solid waste management issues in their respective areas of jurisdiction within a 10-year period so that the use of open dumpsites and controlled dump facilities will no longer be patronized and the use of available technologies that will allow local governments to earn from their tons of garbage will be realized for the greater welfare of the public in the future.
Gonzales advised local officials and technical personnel of local governments to closely work with the EMB regional offices in order for them to be able to craft the appropriate strate-gies that will help them address their solid waste problems which is one of the major problems of localities nationwide./By Dexter A. See