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EMB issues notices to LGUs in Negros Oriental for violation of solid waste management law

DUMAGUETE CITY, March 23 (PNA) -- All local government units (LGUs) in Negros Oriental except for Bayawan City were issued notices of violations by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Region 18 for failure to establish sanitary landfills in violation of Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

They were penalized ranging from P500,000 to P2.5 million.

Among those issued with a notice of violation for the Nth time is Dumaguete City, said City Administrator Ricardo Gonzales on Thursday, specifically for violation of Section 48, paragraphs 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 15 and 16 for littering, throwing, dumping of waste matters in public places, such as roads, sidewalks, canals, esteros or parks, and establishment, or causing or permitting the same, open burning of solid wastes, causing or permitting the collection of non-segregated or unsorted waste, squatting in open dumps and landfills, among others.

EMB Region 18 director Engr. Sophie Manuel said a field inspection and investigation was conducted last Saturday by EMB personnel from the region at the garbage dumpsite in Candau-ay, to verify persistent reports of violations of the provisions of RA 9003.

Other findings showed unauthorized removal of recyclable materials intended for collection by authorized persons, open dumping, burying of biodegradable or non-biodegradable materials in a flood-prone area, establishment or operation of open dumps as enjoined in RA 9003, construction of an establishment within 200 meters from the open dumps or controlled dumps or sanitary landfill and the construction of operation of landfills or any waste disposal facility or any aquifer, groundwater reservoir or watershed area and or any portions thereof.

As a result of the findings of the technical committee, EMB has directed the concerned local government units including Dumaguete City to explain in writing within seven days upon receipt of the notice of violation why they should not be penalized.

For Dumaguete City, the penalty is P2,514,000.00.

Meanwhile, Provincial Environmental Management Officer (PEMU) of the EMB in Negros Oriental Forester Lloyd Patrimonio has confirmed an invitation for all LGUs that were issued notice of violations to attend a technical conference on March 30, 2017 at the DENR-EMB PEMU office located at the PENRO building in Larena Drive, Dumaguete City to discuss pertinent issues in compliance to the environmental laws.

Patrimonio said compliance with RA 9003 is long overdue and that the LGUs concerned will be given a chance to explain the delay.

As to why Bais City was issued a notice of violation when it has also established a sanitary landfill, Patrimonio said inspectors found out its operation is backsliding to an open dump site, even if it has established other components such as the establishment of a leachate treatment pond.

Supposed to be, no more open dumpsites are allowed to operate at this time, he said.

Patrimonio told LGUs concerned that while operating a controlled dumpsite, they should already start a closure plan, to include perimeter enclosure, among others.

He believes this is a great challenge for Dumaguete due to lack of enough space to operate a sanitary landfill, while plans are afoot to organize neighboring municipalities into clusters to minimize the cost. (PNA)

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