THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) admitted that the government alone cannot solve the garbage problem and called on stakeholders and the public to join hands in addressing the crisis.
Benny Antiporda, Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns, said Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu stressed that the country, particularly Metro Manila, “is in the middle of a garbage crisis” and will need a concerted effort among all sectors to solve it.
“Solid waste management is not the government’s responsibility alone, it is everyone’s business,” Antiporda said.
Cimatu’s declaration came amid government efforts to revive the heavily polluted Manila Bay, which is the repository of trash and untreated sewage from households and businesses in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
“We shouldn’t wait for the time when there will be more trash than fish in the ocean,” said Antiporda, noting the situation will get worse without the efforts of everybody.
Antiporda added that LGUs also play a crucial role in solid waste management having been tasked to ensure proper waste segregation and disposal under RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
Under this law, LGUs are required to come up with their respective 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) and convert open dumpsites into sanitary landfills.
The NSWMC has already fast-tracked the approval of SWMPs of hundreds of LGUs nationwide, while the DENR closed down some open dumpsites and filed criminal and administrative charges against local officials allowing their operation.