- The Philippines’ environment department has filed administrative cases against local government officials for violating waste disposal regulations by allowing open dumpsites within their jurisdictions.
- The Philippines has an existing solid waste management law, which mandates officials to close existing open dumpsites and to strengthen its waste collection and segregation policies.
- Last year, the department filed cases against more than 600 local government officials for failing to close existing open dumpsites, forcing them to comply with the law.
MANILA — The Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has filed administrative cases against local government officials for violating waste disposal regulations by allowing open dumpsites within their jurisdictions.
The department, through its National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), filed the cases against Krisel Lagman-Luistro, the mayor of Tabaco City in the province of Albay, and Lilver Roque, the former mayor of the town of Limay in Bataan province, on Nov. 25.
It accuses the officials of allowing the operation of open dumpsites, which is prohibited under the National Solid Waste Management Act. The act specifically mandates local governments to close existing open dumpsites within five years after the passage of the law, signed in 2000. It law also prohibits the creation of new open dumpsites because they pose “serious threat to the environment and public health.”
“We are doing this because we want to show to everyone that the DENR and the NSWMC are serious in their role of seeing to it that [the National Solid Waste Management Act] is strictly complied with, especially by local government officials,” Benny Antiporda, a department undersecretary, said in a statement.
It’s not the first time the DENR has taken local officials to task over mismanaged waste. Last year, it filed cases against more than 600 local government officials for failing to close existing open dumpsites, forcing them to comply with the law.
The waste management act requires local officials to create an action plan that covers, among other things, the closing of existing open dumpsites and the creation of an efficient waste-sorting policy that, when properly implemented, should result in less waste reaching landfills.
Luistro is being held liable for allowing the construction of “two temporary residual containment areas,” effectively open dumpsite, the DENR said. Roque was cited for opening a dumpsite in Limay after being ordered in May to close another site in the town.
The environment department also filed complaints against lower-level municipal officials involved in the dumpsite operations. They face administrative complaints for “grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.”
Banner image of a trash picker in a Manila waterway. Image by Judgefloro via Wikimedia Commons (CC0 1.0).
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