BAGUIO CITY – Five sanitary landfills will be operational in the different parts of the Cordillera to effectively and efficiently address the garbage disposal issues and concerns of local governments by the end of this year, a ranking official of the Cordillera office of the Environment Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) said here.
Reynaldo S. Digamo, EMB-CAR regional director, said of the 5 sanitary landfills, 4 are already operational while 1 will start operations by December to help in improving the garbage disposal efforts of various localities around the region in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
He added the operational landfills are the cell 3 of the La Trinidad controlled dump facility and the sanitary landfills that were established in Luna and Calanasan, Apayao and Alfonso Lista, Ifugao while the landfill of Tabuk City is now nearing completion and about to be operational.
“We are elated that local governments in the region are compliant to our existing solid waste management laws as evidenced by the fact that the seventy-seven local governments were able to craft and submit their 10-year solid waste management plans to the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) for appropriate action,” Digamo stressed.
Of the 77 local governments that submitted their solid waste management plans, the EMB-CAR official revealed the Commission was able to approve 33 plans, representing more than 42 percent of the existing local governments regionwide.
According to him, when he was assigned in the Cordillera over a year ago, there were only 2 local governments with approved 10-year solid waste management plans and this prompted their office to extend the technical assistance to local governments for the crafting and eventual submission of their plans to the Commission.
He disclosed the agency is also encouraging the operation of clustered sanitary landfills in various parts of the region to increase the number of operational landfills, provided that the distance of the local governments within the cluster should not be more than 30 kilometers so that the host local government can collect minimal tipping fees from the other local governments using their landfill.
Under the law, local governments are mandated to close their open dumpsites and replace the same with controlled pump facilities and sanitary landfills to ensure the preservation and protection of the environment and the health of the people living in the said communities.
Digamo commended local officials in the region for their persistence and aggressiveness in locating suitable sites for their controlled dump facilities or sanitary landfills despite challenges faced, saying that the agency will extend the needed technical assistance when needed to assess suitability of proposed sites.