BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management bureau (EMB-CAR) said the benchmark on the approval of the 10-year solid waste management plans of local government units by the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) is that the plans must be implementable in order to effectively and efficiently address the solid waste concerns of the different places.
Engr. Reynaldo Digamo, EMB-CAR regional director, said regional offices of the bureau are not in a position to comment on previous actions by the NSWMC in outrightly approving 10-year solid waste management plans of various local governments, including the city government of Baguio, without the resolution of endorsement from the concerned municipal or city councils.
“What is important for us is that the prepared 10-year solid waste management plans of local governments are implementable by no less than the local governments in order to address their respective solid waste problems which is now common among all local governments not only in the region but also in the different parts of the country,” Digamo stressed.
Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 mandates all local governments to close the operation of their respective open dumpsites and work out the establishment of controlled dump facilities or whatever available environmentally feasible technologies applicable to help preserve and protect the environment and the health of their constituencies.
Digamo pointed out whatever action of the NSWMC on submitted solid waste management plans should be respected considering that the plans pass through the scrutiny of a pool of experts on solid waste management that would mean that the submitted plans are already implementable.
However, he explained that concerned municipal or city councils can still introduce appropriate amendments in order to improve the plans considering that there will always be developments that emerge in the process of implementation and this could always be submitted to the NSWMC for upgrading and updating of the plans.
According to him, local governments in the region must strive for the crafting of their 10-year solid waste management plans to come up with the appropriate solutions to whatever problems that will emerge in their areas of jurisdiction, especially in rapidly growing urban centers, in order to prevent the occurrence of serious garbage concerns that might compromise the state of the environment and the health of the people.
He assured local officials that the EMB-CAR is willing to extend technical assistance to the local governments that are in need of help for the eventual crafting of their respective 10-year solid waste management plan to serve as the basis for working out lasting solutions to current and future garbage problems./Dexter A. See