Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DENR orders closure of 29 dumps

CITY of San Fernando, Pampanga—On the order of Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) in Central Luzon on Monday will close starting Jan. 27 the open or controlled dumps of 29 local governments in Bulacan and Pampanga.

In copies of notices of closure, DENR regional director Ricardo Calderon said the 29 local governments have failed to comply with Republic Act No. 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act).

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who now represents the second district of Pampanga in the House of Representatives, signed the law 10 years ago. The law prohibits open dumps.

EMB regional director Lormelyn Claudio said in a separate memorandum that the 29 local governments “failed to truly demonstrate the will to close the existing open and controlled dumps.”

Due for closure in Bulacan are dumps in Angat, Balagtas, Bocaue, Bulacan, Bustos, Hagonoy, Norzagaray, Pandi, Paombong, Pulilan, San Ildefonso, San Miguel and San Rafael.

In Pampanga, ordered closed were dumps in the cities of Angeles and San Fernando and the towns of Arayat, Floridablanca, Guagua, Mabalacat, Macabebe, Magalang, Masantol, Mexico, Minalin, Porac, San Luis, Sasmuan, Sta. Ana and Sto. Tomas.

Too long to wait

At least 361 local governments in the country have violated RA 9003, reports submitted by the National Solid Waste Management Council to the Office of the Ombudsman showed.

Many local governments in Central Luzon have resorted to disposing of various wastes in landfills operated by the Metro Clark Waste Management Corp. in Barangay Kalangitan in Capas, Tarlac, or in San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan.

“Ten years is too long [to be waiting for corrective measures],” Claudio said.

San Fernando Mayor Oscar Rodriguez said the city government was waiting for the initial operation of Biosphere, a private partner that converts garbage into energy source.

He said the structures and facilities have been built near the Lara dump. “Stored there now are residuals or remains of segregated garbage not convertible into organic or cash, which we will feed into the Biosphere facility,” he said.

The Mt. Pinatubo Emergency Project Management Office in Pampanga presented to Arroyo and Governor Lilia Pineda in December a copy of the “soft component” of the Pinatubo Urgent Mitigation Project III, a P4.698-billion set of antiflooding measures done mostly on a loan from the Japanese government.


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