COTABATO CITY: The chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DENR-ARMM) said his office will file charges against local government units (LGUs) in the region that do not comply with Republic Act (RA) 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
DENR-ARMM Secretary Kahal Kedtag said the LGUs will be charged administratively based on RA 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991.
“We appeal to the LGUs to comply with the law. We need to impose the law,” Kedtag said. He added his office will coordinate with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG-ARMM) to compel the LGUs to implement the provisions of RA 9003.
DENR-ARMM also encouraged the LGUs to submit their comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) as mandated by RA 9003.
The National Solid Waste Management Council ordered all LGUs to submit their 10-year SWMP not later than November 30.
RA 9003 defines the policy framework, institutional mechanisms and mandate for LGUs to achieve a 25 percent waste reduction target through an integrated SWMP based on the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle.
Based on a study, the country generated 10.6 million tons of solid waste in 2012 and that volume is expected to double in 2025. This makes the government consider solid waste management a major environmental issue.
The Environment and Management Bureau (EMB)-12 recently conducted a two-day learning activity on ecological solid waste management that was participated in by EMB-ARMM in Cotabato City.
“Waste mismanagement has serious environmental effects (and that resulted in) the passage of RA 9003, we need to implement it at the soonest time possible. The department can provide technical assistance to the LGUs in the formulation and implementation of their SWMPs,” Kedtag said.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL