THE Makati city government will apply the full force of the law on individuals and establishments caught dumping hazardous waste in the city.
Makati Mayor Romulo ‘Kid’ Peña said they will not hesitate imposing stiff penalties and jail time to violators of City Ordinance No. 2003-095 known as the Solid Waste Management Code of Makati.
According to Peña, the said law strictly prohibits the indiscriminate dumping of hazardous waste as these need special handling and disposal.
The ordinance imposes a P1,000-fine and/or imprisonment between five days to 30 days on individual violators, and P5,000-fine and/or imprisonment of owners of establishments from 30 days to one year.
“We are serious about keeping our city and our people safe from exposure to toxic substances, particularly mercury in spent lamps and lead in used batteries,” said Peña.
Peña asked residents and the public to be vigilant in their neighborhood and to help authorities apprehend the perpetrators.
Peña issued the call following a report from environmental watchdog Ecowaste Coalition that busted fluorescent lamps, which contain mercury, were being dumped illegally in Barangay La Paz.
Peña immediately ordered the city agencies on public health and environmental services to investigate the matter.
“Please do not take this for granted. You and your own families are in real danger of falling ill because of exposure to mercury,” Peña said.
In a letter to the mayor, Ecowaste Coalition reported the illegal dumping on the sidewalk of Pablo Ocampo St. Extension near the corner of Zobel Roxas St. in Barangay La Paz.
The mayor has also tasked the Department of Environmental Services (DES) and the Makati Health Department (MHD) to revisit current policies and programs of the city pertaining to toxic waste management.
He asked the said agencies to explore possible tie-ups with concerned national agencies and non-government organizations like Ecowaste Coalition to establish disposal methods and facilities that would be easily accessible to the people.