35 illegal open dumpsites still in operation – NSWMC official
QUEZON CITY, Sept. 8 (PIA) — Despite the dangers they pose to public health and safety, a senior official from the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) on Thursday revealed that there are still close to 435 open and controlled dumpsites illegally operating in different parts the country.
During the program “Talking Points” by the Radyo ng Bayan, PTV4, and the Philippine Information Agency, NSWMC Deputy Executive Director Eli Ildefonso said, however, that their agency has issued “final notices” to all concerned local government units that warn them of sanctions, if they fail to put a stop in their operations and strictly comply with the provisions of Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (Republic Act 9003).
Ildefonso said that open and controlled dumpsites should have been non-existent since 2006, but due to the initial high cost of putting up and maintaining sanitary landfills, which should be generally used for waste management according to law, some LGUs prefer to ignore the risks to their own constituents.
He cited the Payatas tragedy 11 years ago, when an avalanche from the mountain of garbage in Payatas, Quezon City buried alive 300 residents; and the recent “trash slide” in the Irisan Baguio dumpsite during typhoon Mina’s onslaught that killed six people, due to non-compliance to the law.
He said maintaining sanitary landfills is the preferred choice by law as an engineered form of waste disposal because it reduces trash volume and minimizes underground water contamination, adding that, gases can be recovered and utilized in the generation of power.
Currently, he said there are around 36 engineered sanitary landfills being operated in the country, while 63 others are expected to open soon.
He said their agency is also available to provide technical support to stakeholders to help them understand what the law aims to achieve, and in order to ensure that dumpsite operators can follow the strict standards.
Likewise, he called on the public to follow the 3Rs–reduce, re-use and recycle–in waste management and to implement waste segregation at source, explaining that the country can immediately reduce by half the 40,000 tons of garbage it produces a day.
Ildefonso said that proper management of solid waste, just like any other program, will not be sustainable without mobilizing public support. (RJB/JCP-PIA NCR/PIA-CALAPAN CITY)