The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will shut down over 50 illegal dumpsites across the country before the end of the year, Secretary Roy A. Cimatu disclosed on Friday.
“We target to close down more than 50 illegal dumpsites by December as part of our intensified enforcement of Republic Act No. 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000,” Cimatu said.
Cimatu issued the statement following the DENR’s decision to deny the request of the Quezon City government to reopen the Payatas sanitary landfill until December this year, citing serious environmental violations and susceptibility to trash slide.
The DENR secretary lamented that a lot of local government units (LGUs) still maintain open dumpsites, which are prohibited under RA 9003.
Aside from closing down the dumpsites, the former Armed Forces chief said the DENR will also press charges against LGU executives who allow the continued operation of open dumpsites in their localities.
“RA 9003 gives prime importance to the roles of LGUs in managing solid wastes. They are primarily responsible for the law’s implementation, not the DENR,” Cimatu said.
“The DENR’s role is limited to monitoring the compliance of LGUs with the law,” he pointed out.
Cimatu said the DENR will shut down all open dumpsites that pose serious public health threats and adverse environmental impacts.
He said the agency plans to close a total of 500 illegal dumpsites before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends in 2022.
“All our decisions at the DENR are taken with focus on the protection of the environment and the welfare of the general public,” Cimatu assured.
RA 9003 specifically mandates all, especially LGUs, to adopt a systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program that would ensure the protection of public health and environment.
It directs LGUs to utilize environmentally sound methods; set targets and guidelines for solid waste avoidance and reduction; and ensure proper segregation, collection, transport and storage of solid waste; among others. (DENR-PR)