AN erring local government unit (LGU) should pronto set up an engineered sanitary landfill as required by Republic Act (RA) No. 9003, otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
It is certainly lamentable and saddening that there are only 108 sanitary landfills in the Philippines, a nation of more than 100 million people, although the legislation has been in effect more than 20 years ago.
Under the landmark law, an LGU is mandated to establish its own sanitary landfill as a means of safe disposal of untreated solid waste, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“What we need in this country is about 1,700 sanitary landfills for all the municipalities and cities. But, sad to say, we only have 108…and this number could even decrease,” said DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda.
But Antiporda, a former newspaperman, was quick to assure the public that the DENR under Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, a retired military general, is determined to build more sanitary landfills before June 30, 2022.
“Napupuno po ang ating mga sanitary landfill and what happens next is some (LGUs) might go back to open dumpsite, which is illegal under RA No. 9003. We will not allow this to happen,” said Antiporda.
Note that under the Philippine Constitution, tough-talking President Duterte’s six-year administration, which started in June 2016, ends at 12 noon on June 30, 2022.
In the view of many, including local government officials of impoverished towns in the country, the establishment of a sanitary landfill is better said that done because of various factors
No less than the DENR secretary acknowledged that a lot of LGUs find it difficult to comply with the law as building and maintaining a sanitary landfill can be costly and somewhat complicated.
That’s why Cimatu ordered Antiporda to review and revise the implementing rules and regulations of RA No. 9003 to make the setting up of a sanitary landfill easier and less expensive.
We are all for this.