CEBU CITY – A high-ranking official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Wednesday urged local government unit (LGU) leaders to come up with their own 10-year solid waste management plan.
DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, in-charge of solid waste management and LGU concerns, thanked the Cebu mayors in municipalities and cities that already have an approved 10-year plan on proper disposal management of their local wastes.
“Those mayors who have approved solid waste management plan already, I won’t dare say that your plans are correct. There are many of you who find hard time implementing your plans, especially those who belong to 3rd and 4th class municipalities,” he said in Filipino.
Antiporda urged mayors to make amendments in their plans to conform with what they promised to their constituents.
He acknowledged that poorer municipalities find it difficult to manage their solid wastes, considering the cost in constructing and maintaining a sanitary landfill.
“And our dream of having WTE (waste to energy) project remains a dream and remains unfulfilled because of its cost,” Antiporda told the participants in the 4th Solid Waste Management Summit and Expo 2019 at the Ayala Center Cebu here.
The DENR official promised to work closely with the local government units who have not yet come up with their solid waste management plans to approach the Solid Waste Management Division of the DENR Central Visayas regional office.
He promised to fast-track the approval of the submitted plans.
“Gone are those days that the mayors were victims of corrupt practices in seeking approval of their solid waste management plan,” Antiporda said, noting that under the Duterte administration, the department is committed to fast-track the approval.
“When Secretary Roy Cimatu put me as in-charge of solid waste management commission, we improved the passage of the 10-year solid waste management plans,” he noted.
In just seven months, the DENR was able to approve 568 percent of applications covering 65 approvals, as compared to only one single plan approved in 2016, he said.
Antiporda also pressed the mayors to come up with an approved permanent plantilla position of a municipal environment and natural resource officer (MENRO), saying having only a designated environmental officer would not warrant accountability.
“LGUs should have a permanent MENRO, not just a designated one, so that we know who is going to be answerable to the national government in cases of non-compliance to the solid waste management law,” he said.
Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 provides for a comprehensive ecological solid waste management program by creating the necessary institutional mechanisms and incentives, appropriating funds, declaring certain acts prohibited, and providing penalties to violators. (PNA)