A LAWMAKER on Tuesday attributed the worsening flooding problem in country to the continuous failure of local government units (LGUs) and other government agencies to comply with the solid waste management law.
Senator Loren Legarda disclosed that up to now, only about one-third of all LGUs nationwide are complying with the solid waste management law, while the others have yet to strictly and fully implement segregation of garbage at source, recycling and composting.
There are currently 80 provinces, 143 cities (33 highly-urbanized) and 1,491 municipalities in the country.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Environment and Climate Change, raised the need for LGUs comply with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (Republic Act 9003) which was enacted more than a decade ago.
The Senator also said that LGUs should complement the national government’s campaign to address flooding problems through the clearing of waterways, noting that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is carrying out a program to relocate illegal settlers and clear waterways in Metro Manila within 12 months.
Aside from the strict implementation of the solid waste management act LGUs and other concerned government agencies should also demolish illegal fish pens in Laguna de bay; undertake massive cleanup of esteros and canals; relocate settlers by the rivers; dredge rivers and other waterways and heavily penalize those who throw waste in rivers and lakes.
“Disaster risk reduction is everybody’s business, and LGUs should lead this effort by ensuring that homes, schools, hospitals, and buildings are constructed in safe areas and are secure amidst natural hazards, and that roads, bridges and other infrastructure are designed and constructed with economic growth and disaster risk reduction in mind,” she added.
Section 50 of RA 9003 states that “Local government officials and officials of government agencies concerned who fail to comply with and enforce rules and regulations promulgated relative to this Act shall be charged administratively in accordance with R.A. 7160 and other existing laws, rules and regulations.”
But despite of the said provision no local government official has been charged for violating the solid waste management act despite of the glaring violations being committed. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA