DENR welcomes more allies in fight vs. waste pollution

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has welcomed the approval of the 10-year solid waste management plans (SWMPs) of 160 local government units (LGUs) nationwide, saying it won more allies in the fight against waste pollution.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns Benny Antiporda said the approval was made by the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), which he chairs, during its en banc meeting held last Thursday.

NSWMC is a DENR-led body tasked to oversee the implementation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, which provides that the LGUs are primarily responsible for waste segregation and disposal.

Antiporda said that after providing cities and municipalities with “red carpet treatment” in assisting them in all aspects of environmental protection, the DENR expects them to reciprocate by fully implementing their respective SWMPs and adhering to the provisions of RA 9003.

“We have neglected our environment, but it’s never too late. [The SWMP] is the answer to the worsening problem on waste,” Antiporda told mayors and vice mayors who were present to personally receive the NSWMC resolution approving their SWMPs.

Antiporda vowed to strictly monitor the implementation of the approved SWMPs covering the periods 2014 to 2023, 2015-2024, 2016-2015, 2017-2026, 2018-2027 and 2019 to 2028.

He reminded local executives that they may be held administratively and criminally liable for non-implementation of their approved SWMPs.

“The commission is serious in its war on waste. Waste is always the last and the least, and now it is in a very alarming situation,” Antiporda added.

Earlier, Antiporda said the NSWMC was working to fast-track the approval process for the SWMPs submitted by more than 1,600 cities and municipalities across the country.

The move, he said, would allow the LGUs to immediately implement their respective plans for addressing garbage problems in their localities.

In August, the NSWMC also approved during its en banc meeting the SWMP of Quezon City and of 15 municipalities from Ifugao, Aurora, Isabela, La Union, Quezon, Pangasinan, Bulacan and Nueva Ecija.

In September, 20 LGUs received approval of their plans including the municipalities of Iloilo, Batanagas, Bataan and Tarlac.

The Commission approved during its three en banc meetings in Octoberthe SWMPs of 67 LGUs, including the cities of Legazpi, Calpan and Mandaue, as well as several municipalities in Abra, Pampanga, Oriental Mindoro, Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo, Zamboanga del Norte, Saranggani and Maguindanao provinces. ### 


DENR honors volunteer partners in environmental protection

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has honored its partners from government, non-government organizations, academe and the business sector for their valuable contributions to the environment through volunteer work.

A total of 55 partner organizations—10 government agencies and state-owned corporations, 14 local government units from Metro Manila, 15 from the academic community, 7 NGOs, and 9 private companies— were recognized for their active participation in over 500 volunteer projects and special events organized by the DENR since 2012.

Among those that received a certificate of appreciation from the DENR were Earth Day Network Philippines, National Bicycle Organization and the Land Bank of the Philippines.

The appreciation program is in line with the DENR’s celebration of December as the National Volunteer Month, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 55, Series of 1998.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns Benny Antiporda said the program aims not only to recognize the agency’s volunteer partners, but also encourage more people and organizations to help in protecting the environment.

During the awarding ceremony held at Seameo Innotech in Quezon City, Antiporda thanked the volunteer partners for their “invaluable support for the DENR’s pursuit for sustainable development.”

“This is our small way of thanking you for the big contributions you have made to the success of the DENR’s programs and activities,” Antiporda told the agency’s partner organizations during the event, which carried the theme: “Boluntarismo: Tugon sa Nagbabagong Panahon.”

In recognizing the importance of environmental volunteerism, Antiporda said the “citizen’s support alone will dictate either the success or failure of DENR’s programs.”

He noted that the citizen’s support through volunterism is “crucial” to the mission of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu to demonstrate President Rodrigo Duterte’s “strong political will in seriously addressing the country’s environmental challenges.”

Antiporda cited the case of Boracay, which would have remained a “cesspool” had the President not ordered the DENR and other government agencies to rehabilitate the world-famous resort island.

There was no doubt, he said, that Cimatu carried out the President’s agenda for Boracay “through the active support of the island’s residents through volunteerism.”

“We hope to see the same spirit of support as we carry out the President’s directive in other resort-island destinations elsewhere in the country like El Nido in Palawan, Puerto Galera in Mindoro and Panglao Island in Bohol,” Antiporda said.

The DENR programs and activities participated in by the honorees include tree and mangrove planting, coastal cleanup, establishment of tree nurseries, and ecological conservation, among others. ### 


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