MALASIQUI, Pangasinan – Twelve local government units (LGUs) in the Ilocos Region voluntarily closed their open dumpsites while the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) shut down a sanitary landfill as of April this year.
In an interview on Tuesday, EMB Ilocos regional director Dorica Hipe said a show cause order has been issued to the LGUs due to their violation of Republic Act (RA) 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, for operating open dumpsites, while a cease and desist order has been issued to the sanitary landfill in Pangasinan.
The operation of the landfill violated the Clean Water Act upon the recommendation of the Pollution Adjudication Board, as well as the Presidential Decree 1586 or the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement, and the RA 9003.
Although it is a sanitary landfill, wastes were just dumped and it was no longer being managed properly hence, it has become an open dumpsite.
Hipe said the analysis on its water sample exceeded the effluent standard and indicated occurrence of water pollution.
“We are continuously monitoring to ensure these closed areas are not being used,” she said.
However, she said there are no local chief executives in the region who are charged yet due to violation of the RA 9003 unlike in the other regions.
“They wanted to comply unlike some local chief executives in the other regions who were charged for blatantly violating the law,” she added.
Under the provision of the law, Hipe said these LGUs need to have a memorandum of agreement or contract with existing and compliant sanitary landfills.
“The closest is in Central Luzon. The solid wastes are stored in residual containment areas temporarily for six months maximum before these are transported through a container van,” she said.
Meanwhile, Hipe said some LGUs are working on their Ecological Solid Waste Management Plan despite the pandemic.
“(The plan of) one LGU in Pangasinan and one in Ilocos Norte have been approved. We really appreciate these LGUs,” she said. (PNA)