ILOILO CITY: The Environmental Ombudsman is set to file cases against four local government units (LGUs) in the province of Iloilo and another in the province of Aklan for violation of environmental protection laws.
Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, Gerard Mosquera, who is also Environmental Ombudsman, said to be held accountable are officials of the municipalities of Banate, Sara, Ajuy and Santa Barbara in Iloilo; and those of the municipality of Nabas in Aklan.
He added that these towns on Panay Island are the first batch of 50 LGUs nationwide that face charges for violation of the environmental protection laws particularly provisions of Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act of 2001.
Mosquera said criminal and administrative charges will be filed against 600 government officials from these 50 LGUs.
The Environmental Ombudsman is an extension of the Office of the Ombudsman that investigates recalcitrant LGUs that fail to close their open dumps.
Mosquera said they are out to fully implement the laws on the environment and at the same time reduce corruption at the LGU level.
The second batch of 100 LGUs with 1,200 local officials as respondents will be facing cases for maintenance of open dumps despite a closure order from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.