DENR sets record-breaking accomplishment in SWM Program

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has surpassed its 2018 targets under its Solid Waste Management (SWM) Program, indicating improved compliance by local government units (LGUs) to Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

“Given that SWM stands alongside the other major programs of the DENR, we are determined to go over and beyond our targets and to work fast to show that we are serious in solving this perennial problem,” said DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns Benny D. Antiporda.

The DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) reported that all regional offices of the department have exceeded their respective targets in all three program indicators, namely: (1) 10-year SWM plans reviewed and endorsed, (2) LGUs assisted on dumpsite closure and rehabilitation, and (3) materials recovery facilities (MRFs) established.

From a target of 198 SWM plans, a total of 359 10-year SWM plans have been reviewed and endorsed to the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) last year, representing a 181% accomplishment. NSWMC is a DENR-led body chaired by Antiporda which approves SWM plans of LGUs.

In an unprecedented achievement and setting a new record, 308 of the 359 SWM plans reviewed , were approved by the Commission. Data from EMB would reveal that from 2010 to 2017, the Commission usually approves an average of 46 SWM plans yearly. Thus, this year’s number of approved SWM plans reflects a huge leap of 568% as compared from previous years.

Region 12 had the highest accomplishment at 800% with 32 SWM plans reviewed and endorsed to the NSWMC from a target of 4. Region 13 came second at 620% or 31 of from the original target of 5. Region 10 had 450% success rate with 36 from 8.

“The Commission has been doing its share of the work. We expect nothing less from the LGUs. We want them to know that after approval, the implementation of their respective SWM plans weighs more. Otherwise, we can file cases against them for non-compliance,” Antiporda stated.

For LGUs assisted on dumpsite closure and rehabilitation, a total of 179 out of the target 113 LGUs were given technical assistance on the proper closure and rehabilitation of open and controlled dumpsites, representing 158% accomplishment.

Region 10 had the highest success rate at 413% with 33 LGUs assisted from its target of 8. This was followed by Region 2 at 350% or 35 out of 10, and Region 6 at 250% or 25 of 10.

For the establishment of MRFs, the DENR recorded a 101% accomplishment with 537 MRFs established nationwide from the target of 532.

Region 2 exceeded its target by 16% with 36 MRFs from the target of 31. All other regions registered 100% accomplishment.

In terms of compliant LGUs monitored, 165 of 158 LGUs were monitored or a 104% accomplishment. Region 12, Cordillera Administrative Region and Region 1 all surpassed their targets with percentage accomplishments at 190, 186 and 150, respectively. Most of the regions also exceeded their targets.

“We are overwhelmed by the exemplary performance of all regions in the DENR’s SWM program. Definitely, this is indicative of a genuine resolve to pursue the Department’s mandate to be the agency primarily responsible for the country's environment and natural resources.

“It likewise demonstrates their support to our vision of a nation enjoying and sustaining its natural resources and clean and healthy environment,” Antiporda said. # 

Cimatu to DENR field execs: Take proactive response to heavy rains

Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has issued a memorandum ordering all field officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to take proactive and timely measures to avoid risks associated with excessive rainfall.

The environment chief issued the directive after heavy rains from Tropical Depression Usman triggered flashfloods and landslides that killed at least 120 people in the Bicol region shortly before the New Year.

Earlier in 2018, two other deadly rainfall-induced landslides happened in Itogon town in Benguet and Naga City in Cebu province. A similar incident happened in Natonin, Mt. Province in October.

Cimatu said the increase in the frequency of landslide events triggered by heavy rainfall underscores the urgent need to further protect communities from the devastating effects of climate change.

“It is therefore imperative for the DENR and its field offices to be prepared and responsive to the dangers and adverse effects of excessive rainfall,” Cimatu said in the memo.

The memo was addressed to all DENR regional executive directors, regional directors of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), and provincial and community environment and natural resources officers (PENROs/CENROs) nationwide.

For them to become proactive, Cimatu said DENR field officials should revisit and familiarize themselves with the MGB-prepared geohazard maps indicating areas that are prone to floods and landslides.

“With the use and understanding of the geohazard map, the likelihood that we will be able to proactively respond to weather disturbances like typhoon and even mere low pressure incidences causing abnormally high rainfall will be greater,” Cimatu said.

The DENR Secretary directed all field offices to have a copy of the recently released and updated geohazard maps in their advisory bulletin board.

He also ordered field officials and employees to acquaint themselves with the location of landslide- and flood-prone sites in their respective areas of responsibility (AORs).

DENR field officials were likewise ordered to establish an open line of communication and strong coordination with concerned local government officials.

Local government offices, Cimatu said, should be properly briefed on the possible danger of landslide and flooding in their respective areas.

He said that DENR field officers should also validate on the ground and clearly reflect in their geohazard maps the areas or communities threatened by flooding and landslide, and to officially communicate these with the concerned local government.

At the same time, Cimatu ordered his field officials to familiarize themselves with the color-coded danger signs in the geohazard maps, as well as the rainfall warning signals released by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or DOST-PAGASA.

The DENR chief also instructed the field officials to be “physically present” in their AORs and to actively participate in meetings and disaster response efforts of the regional, provincial and municipal disaster risk coordinating councils during adverse weather.

He also ordered the immediate activation of an Operations Center in every regional office, PENRO and CENRO. The center will be tasked to receive instructions from the DENR central office in Quezon City and be responsible for providing updates and submission of reports.

It will be manned 24/7 by capable and dependable field officials complete with communications equipment, vehicles and other safety equipment necessary to effectively respond to the needs during abnormal weather events. ### 

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