DENR keen to extend technical support to LGUs on closure of illegal dumpsites

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is willing to extend technical assistance to local government units (LGUs) to help them get rid of illegal dumpsites that pose significant threats to the environment and public health.

"We are here to help the LGUs comply with the law that strictly bans all forms of open dumping," DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said, referring to Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

Cimatu said the DENR, through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), would closely coordinate with LGUs in the formulation of closure plans for these dumpsites.

As partners for change with LGUs, the DENR will ensure the protection of the environment and well-being of the people, Cimatu said.

He added that the EMB was also ready to provide technical advice to LGUs in coming up with their respective 10-year solid waste management plans, as mandated by RA 9003.

The 17-year-old law provides the legal framework for the country's systematic and comprehensive ecological solid waste management program that ensures the protection of public health and the environment.

It underscores, among other things, the need to create institutional mechanisms and incentives, as well as imposes penalties for acts in violation of any of its provisions.) � is this part you want to be deleted?

Under the DENR guidelines, cities and municipalities are required to come up with a closure plan for illegal dumpsites, which include site clearing, relocation of informal settlers living within the area, site grading and stablization of critical slopes, application and maintenance of soil cover, and leachate management.

Provincial environment and natural resources offices (PENROs) and community environment and natural resources offices (CENROs) are tasked to reach out to LGUs before, during and after the closure of illegal dumpsites.

During post-closure, PENROs and CENROs will continue the monitoring and update the existing database on open dumpsites.

The DENR will also reinforce programs, such as the establishment of materials recovery facilities or MRFs and the conversion of waste to energy to aid in resolving waste disposal issues.

According to a study conducted by the National Solid Waste Management Commission, every person living in Metro Manila produces 0.7 kilogram of waste daily.

With an estimated population of 13 million, the total waste generated in the metropolis could run up to 9,200 metric tons (MT) per day; 276,900 MT per month, or 3.3 million MT per year.

Insects and pests in open dumpsites are disease vectors, while leachate from solid waste can contaminate groundwater tables and surface waters.

Methane gases from dumpsites could affect the health of exposed populations and contribute to global warming.

Source: Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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