BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) underscored there is nothing wrong with the approval of the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan by the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) even without the endorsement of the City Council and the regional office of the agency.
Reynaldo S. Digamo, EMB-CAR regional director, said the submission of the solid waste plan by the group of consultants commissioned by the city to conduct the Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS) to the NSWMC for comments but which ended up approved by the Commission, is appropriate considering that the Commission might have found the plan to be in order.
“We are not inclined to question the wisdom of the members of the Commission in outrightly approving the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan even without our endorsement. We believe there is merit in the approval made by the Commission that is why the plan was approved,” Digamo stressed.
The EMB-CAR official pointed out it was also clear in the letter sent by the Commission to the local government that the city can still introduce the appropriate amendments to the plan to suit the prevailing situation and re-submit the amended plan to the NSWMC for its needed action.
Digamo explained while there were procedural lapses in the course of the approval of the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan, it is the merit of the plan that matters and it is what the NSWMC considered in approving the plan even without the endorsements from the agency.
Under the approved plan, the city will embark on the put up of a centralized materials recovery facility, engineered sanitary landfill, anaerobic digester, waste-to-energy plant, Environmental Recycling System (ERS) machines, health and medical waste treatment plant, and special waste treatment plant.
The City Council is still deliberatiing on the passage of the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan.
Under the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, all local governments are required to prepare their 10-year solid waste management plans as the blueprint for the implementation of their solid waste disposal initiatives geared towards solving their garbage cocerns.
It will be recalled that the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan 2007-2016 was not approved by the NSWMC but the plan for 2015-2024 was passed upon by the Commission after finding merit in its form and contents.
Part of the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan is the establishment of an integrated solid waste disposal facility that will be put up in the city-owned 139-hectare property in Sto. Tomas School area although there are plans to put up the facility in the Antamok open pit site in Itogon, Benguet.
By Dexter A. See