7 Apayao towns get nod on 19-year solid waste plans

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LUNA, Apayao A sigh of relief for Governor Elias Bulut, Jr. and all the mayors of Apayao after Chairman Romeo Hidalgo made a positive pronouncement in behalf of the National Solid Waste Commission Technical Working Group (TWG) that the 10-year Municipal Ecological Solid Waste Management Plans (ESWMP) of all the Municipalities of Apayao which were presented a nd deliberated on March 22 at Mawanan Mt. Resort and Convention Center, Calanasan, Apayao are to be recommended for approval to the National Solid Waste Commission.

In the presence of Under Secretary for Solid Waste Management Atty. Noel Felongco and the members of TWG along with some provincial and municipal mayors of Apayao, Commissioner Hidalgo during their courtesy visit at the Provincial Capitol here on March 23 informed and congratulated Governor Bulut that all the municipalities of Apayao substantially complied with the provisions of Republic Act 9003 also known as Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, hence, their strong recommendation.

For Governor Bulut, it is a wonderful news for the whole province considering that this is mandatory in which all mayors took extra time and allocated fund for the preparation and initial implementation of these plans. He appreciated also the efforts and sacrifices of all the members of the TWG and their staff for travelling far just to reach out for the people of Apayao.

“If the 10-year solid waste plans of our seven municipalities are to be approved by the Commission, then it is appropriate also to put them in our table for us to study and improve for its application in the provincial level,” Bulut gladly responded.

Pudtol Mayor Hector Pascua in behalf of all the mayors of Apayao expressed his gratitude for the affirmation of their plan by the TWG. “We will make sure that we will implement the contents of said plans in our respective municipalities not only for approval’s sake but rather as our way of life,” Pascua underscored.

According to the TWG, the panelist will be endorsing the approval of all the plans on March 28 after the submission of slight changes and/or revisions by the said municipalities in line with the recommendations of the TWG during the deliberation.

USec. Felongco thanked Governor Bulut and the officialdom of Apayao for their hospitality. He affirmed the statement of Commissioner Reynaldo Esguerra of DOST that the sacrifices they made are not actually sacrifices for them, rather a part of their work in reaching out for the local government units.

“Rather than the LGUs will be traveling from their provinces to Manila, we recommend to the Commission to do the opposite as this will lessen their expenses and at the same time we can visit personally the place for validation purposes,” Commissioner Hidalgo stressed.

The panelist went to the Municipalities of Sta. Marcela and Flora to visit schools which have best practices with regard to waste management/disposal. Flora Central School under the leadership of Ms. Resty Leano has garnered several awards for the search for the most sustainable eco-friendly school. Meanwhile, award winning Sta. Marcela Mayor Rolly Guiang initiated simple program for the TWG highlighting their good practices.

Recently, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Cordillera region said they will be filing cases against local government units in the region who failed to comply under the provisions of the RA 9003. However, this is not the case for any LGU in Apayao if the plans presented will be approved by the Commission.

Under Section 50 of RA 9003, local government officials of government offices concerned who fail to comply with and enforce rules and regulations promulgated related to this Act shall be charged administratively in accordance with RA 7160 and other existing laws and regulations.

By GERRIAHZON S. SEBASTIAN

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