BAGUIO CITY – Regional updates in solid waste management was discussed during the Fourth Quarter .Regional Development Council (RDC) sectoral committee on Watershed and Environmental Management at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) conference hall last week.
Presided by Chairperson and environmentalist Dr. Julie Cabato, the body looked over achieved environmental programs for the past year.
From the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR), whose mandate is to implement Republic Act 9003, known as the Ecological Waste Management Act of 2000, reports focused on accomplishments and status of programs as to the 10-year SWM plans of CAR 75 municipalities and 2 cities.
It was reported that as of November 15, 34 or 44% municipalities’ plans have been approved, with 14 or 18% local government units conditionally approved, 19 or 25 % plans under review, 3 or 4% endorsed to the SWM Regional Department, and 7 or 9% returned to the local government unit for refinement.
From 2012 to 2018, EMB assisted local governments through the funding of Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF). For Abra, 23 LGUs were assisted, Apayao-7, Benguet-11, Ifugao-11, Kalinga-7, Mt. Province-10. From the 77 CAR municipalities, eight remains to be assisted in 2019: Abra, 4; Benguet, 3; Kalinga, 1.
The latest fund assistance totaling P14,910,000.00 for shredders and MRFs was given to 34 LGUs, through checks released in March 16, 2018.
For operational sanitary landfills in the provinces, Alno in La Trinidad, Benguet; Poblacion, Bayugao, Calanasan in Apayao; Turod, Luna in Apayao, Swan, Pudtol in Apayao; and Alfonso Lista, Ifugao are operational.
In the report, it was known that 18 Environmental Management Officers were hired, each province assigned with three. Said employees monitor littering, throwing, dumping of waste materials in public places or causing the same; open burning of solid waste, burying of biodegradable or nonbiodegradable materials in flood-prone areas. They are also tasked to look over the establishment or operation of open dumps. Violations of the environmental code are reported to local government officials for proper disposition .
In another phase, the eco-savers program was created which aims to increase waste diversion of solid waste generated by households through the collection of recyclable materials by elementary and high school students. The program teaches students to practice waste segregation and collection of recyclable materials which are then sold for school supplies.
Ten public schools elementary and high schools were identified as pilot implementers for SY 2017-2018 with a P25,000 assistance each:Rizal ES, Tawang ES, Sablan Central School, Kabuyao ES, Baayan ES-Annex; and Rizal National High School, La Trinidad NHS, Alejo Pacalso Memorial NHS, Tuba Central NHS, and Tublay School of Home Industries.
For this year too, three local government units were awarded P200,000 each for being the Cleanest and Greenest in their respective categories: Ambiong, La Trinidad, Benguet in the 1st to 2nd class municipalities; Pindongan, Kiangan, Ifugao, 3rd to 6th class; and Magsaysay, Tabuk, Kalinga, for component cities in CAR.
Other programs for enhancement are write shops,orientations, ecosystem-based adaptation, and sectoral meetings. /Julie G. Fianza