Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines president Dax Cua called on the government to create a task force including local government units to address the country’s mounting waste problem.
This, after the Commission on Audit found that only 29.25 percent or 478 of 1,634 LGUs in the country have access to sanitary landfills.
“We need help in addressing our mounting waste problem. Maybe we could consider a task force created by Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. that would work closely with LGUs in this regard,” the Quirino governor said.
The audit body attributed the failure of the solid waste management program to “frail enforcement and compliance with the law” due to political, financial and technical limitations of the LGUs and implementing agencies.
Cua urged the government to prioritize the effective implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Act of 2000 (Republic Act 9003), as he said that the country’s unresolved garbage problem “exacerbates the negative impact of the climate crisis we are facing.”
The governor earlier blamed the gap between policy-making and implementation for the law’s failure.
“Sometimes our policy makers think of an ideal policy, probably see something that works in a First World setting and try to implement it here. Idi-dictate na gagawin ito kasi ginagawa halimbawa sa Europe or North America, that’s why we should be aiming for this. But the truth is we’re not ready, manpower, resources, engineering, etc., and therefore it doesn’t match the system that we have in place,” he said.
Cua cited the need for functions at all government levels to be delineated.
“It’s good that the President and the DILG Secretary and I have been speaking about this for months now that we should look at the functions of the government and really focus on service delivery, and each level of local government should participate in that chain of service delivery.”
“There are investments that are better left not with the municipal, not with barangay, simply because of scale and the size of the investment. So maybe nasa province yan. And if it’s too big for the province, the national government might have to put their hand in,” said the governor.
The COA projected that the country’s annual solid waste production will increase from 16.63 million metric tons in 2020 to 19.76 million metric tons in 2030 and 24.50 million tons in 2045.
Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said recently that the country’s daily waste generation increased to 61,000 metric tons from only 16,000 MT in 2016. At least 12 percent or 7,090 MT of the total garbage being produced every day are plastic waste, it added.
According to Our World in Data, the Philippines produces over one-third of all oceanic plastic waste in the world.
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