20 LGUs get green light for solid waste mgmt plans

Twenty local government units (LGUs) have been given the green light to implement their respective 10-year solid waste management (SWM) plans pursuant to Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

This was announced by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns Benny Antiporda, who concurrently chairs the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC).

According to Antiporda, the SWM plans of 20 LGUs for the years 2017 to 2028 were approved by the NSWMC during a recent meeting presided by its vice chair Crispian Lao.

Antiporda said the approved SWM plans of 20 LGUs, mostly from Luzon, “signifies their commitment and cooperation to a cleaner environment and better health for their constituents.”

Last month, the NSWMC also approved the SWM plans of Quezon City and 15 municipalities in Luzon.

Antiporda said the DENR and the NSWMC are committed to providing technical assistance to LGUs in preparing and implementing their respective SWM plans.

The approved SWM plans include strategies on residual, recyclable, biodegradable and special wastes such as the strict implementation of the “No Segregation, No Collection” policy, recycling of single-use plastics, and composting and construction of vault for health care wastes. Municipal ordinances in support of these strategies were also identified.

RA 9003 provides for a systematic, comprehensive, and ecological solid waste management program that includes SWM activities such as avoidance, reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and proper disposal of residual waste.

The NSWMC, led by Lao, personally handed over the resolutions approving the SWM plans to Mayors Milliard Villanueva, Larry Villanueva and Nathali Ann Debuque of the municipalities of Concepcion, San Dionisio and Anilao in Iloilo province, respectively; Fulgencio Mercado and Michael Angelo Rivera of Taal and Padre Garcia in Batangas; Cynthia Estanislao of Morong, Bataan; and Betty Lacbayan of Anao, Tarlac.

The commission also approved the SWM plans of the towns of Balete, Mabini and San Pascual in Batangas province; Orani, Bataan; Baliuag, Calumpit and Hagonoy in Bulacan; Science City of Munoz, Quezon and San Leonardo in Nueva Ecija; Floridablanca and Lubao in Pampanga; and Camiling, Tarlac.

“The commission believes that ‘zero basura’ is possible with the concerted efforts of all citizenry led by their LGUs,”Antiporda added.

The resolutions require the LGUs to submit to the NSWMC their final plans with a Sangguniang Bayan Resolution and an annual progress report on the strategies implemented and accomplishments.

The commission may revoke the approval of the plan for non-compliance with the law and the SWM plan.

The law mandates all LGUs through their solid waste management boards to prepare a 10-year SWM plan consistent with the National Solid Waste Management Framework. The plan shall be for the reuse, recycling and composting of wastes generated in their jurisdictions.

The SWM plans of LGUs shall ensure the efficient management of solid waste generated in their cities and municipalities.

The NSWMC is primary agency tasked to implement the provisions of RA 9003. It oversees the implementation of SWM plans and prescribes policies to achieve the objectives of the law.

The commission has 14 members from the government sector and 3 members from the private sector. ### 


DENR pins high hopes on E-NIPAS law

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is putting high hopes in new law aimed at providing a more extensive protection and effective preservation of the remaining protected areas (PAs) in the country.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the implementation of Republic Act 11038, otherwise known as the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (E-NIPAS) Act of 2018, is expected to boost ongoing efforts to conserve and protect the country’s rich biological diversity and ecosystems.

The E-NIPAS Act, which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in June, places 94 PAs nationwide under government management and protection.

“Our country’s unique biodiversity is supported by a wide variety of ecosystems, but now, more than ever, many of which are deeply threatened by developments, unsustainable use, and other human activities and recently, natural calamities resulting in habitat loss and reduced ecosystems services and benefits, among others,” Cimatu said during the “Forum on Strengthening Partnerships for E-NIPAS” held at Seda Vertis North in Quezon City last Sept. 25.

The forum, organized by the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), brought together the authors and sponsors of the law and biodiversity stakeholders in a bid to build constituency and strengthen partnerships for the effective implementation of the E-NIPAS law, and solicit support and commitment for the drafting of the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

The landmark legislation mandates the DENR to come up with the IRR within 6 months from its effectivity. While President Duterte signed RA 11038 on June 22, the same was published in the Official Gazette on July 16 and took effect on August 1.

“Today, we rise with hopes against the sobering backdrop of this biodiversity loss. As policymakers, we are bound with our duty to create a law that ensures our biodiversity-rich lands and waters are protected,” Cimatu said.

The environment chief underscored the need to keep endemic species “safe and flourishing” in PAs, which comprise “13 percent of the country’s total land surface or less than 2 percent of the marine area.”

BMB Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez, meanwhile, presented the salient features of the law, including the establishment of 94 PAs as national parks.

Other features include expanding the composition of each Protected Area Management Board; creation of Protected Area Management Office; administration and management of NIPAS; designation of buffer zones; and recognition of existing local communities, townships and town centers, as well territories and areas occupied by indigenous peoples.

The law also provides mechanisms for renewable energy development; grant of tax exemptions; wider coverage of prohibited acts; imposition of higher fines and penalities; and administrative and criminal liabilities of concerned local government units. ### 


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