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San Juan starts registration for free COVID vaccination

SAN Juan City started on Monday the registration for free COVID-19 vaccine shots.

Mayor Francis Zamora said residents may register online or through the barangay halls or health centers.

The City Government of San Juan is currently in talks with the national government and pharmaceutical companies in procuring the vaccine.

Kasalukuyang nakikipag-usap ang ating pamahalaang lungsod sa national government at sa mga pharmaceutical companies upang tayo ay makakuha ng bakuna,” Zamora said.

Recently the city council signed an ordinance allocating P50 million as standby funds that will be used for the procurement of vaccines.

We will be prioritizing health workers and frontliners to receive the vaccine first, then indigent senior citizens will soon follow, as advised by the WHO and IATF. Once done, residents who voluntarily signed up will receive the vaccine,” Zamora said.

Zamora reassured the residents that the vaccine the city will buy is proven safe and has undergone rigorous tests done by medical experts and other governments in the world.

Meanwhile, the local government of Pasig City is preparing for its city-wide vaccination program after it has allocated P300 million for the purchase of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Mayor Vico Sotto said they are coordinating with the Inter-Agency Task Force, Department of Health, and Metro Manila Council as they are preparing for the city- wide vaccination program.

The mayor said medical frontliners and senior citizen residents will be prioritized in the vaccination program of the city.

Around 300 sanitary landfills (SLFs) are being targeted to be established nationwide by 2022 to further improve the country’s management of solid waste.

Benny Antiporda, Department of Environment and Natural Resourcss (DENR) Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units (LGUs) Concerns, said that these SLFs will be established through a public-private partnership.

Antiporda made the disclosure during a recent hybrid consultation meeting with SLF operators, which combined face-to-face and teleconferencing.

Ambitious as it may seem to be as a target, but we shall aim to establish 300 SLFs by the end of 2022,” Antiporda said.

Antiporda explained that SLF remains the primary long-term method of solid waste disposal allowed under Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

The consultation was the second of a series of meetings, which Antiporda said was the first time in the history of the DENR that the SLF operators were gathered together to ensure their commitment to helping LGUs and the national government address the challenges of solid waste management.

A total of 21 SLF operators were present during the meeting, either personal or via Zoom. The meeting was aimed at closer collaboration among SLF operators, LGUs and the DENR, through the National Solid Waste Management Commission, where Antiporda sits as alternate of Environment Secretary and NSWMC Chair Roy A. Cimatu.

Among those in attendance were representatives from Phileco, Tamagan SLF of Lepanto Consolidated Company, WasteCon Inc., Urdaneta Solid Waste Management, Cagayan Economic Zone Sanitary Landfill, Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation, Mega Pacific Landfill Resource Services Corp., and IPM Holdings.

Also present were representatives from Integrated Solid Waste Management Inc., Greenleap Sanitary Landfill/New Sanitary Landfill, SB Hain Enterprise/Severino B. Hain, Pilotage Trading and Construction Inc., TAYSAN SLF, Gen Tech SLF, JORMS Trading Corporation, Coral Bay Nickel Corporation, Iwa Besu Solid Waste Processing Facility project/Iwa Besu Corp., Eco’s Sanitary Landfill and Waste Management Corp., San Rafael Moreno SLF, ARN Central Waste Management Inc., and Asian Energy Systems Inc.

There are currently 189 SLFs in operation servicing 399 LGUs across the country.

However, Antiporda lamented that the number of SLFs remains small 20 years after RA 9003 took effect.

During the consultation meeting, Antiporda called on the SLF operators to look into the viability of offering their facilities to LGUs with illegal dumpsites in anticipation of an aggressive campaign by the DENR to close these down starting January 2021.

The first meeting was held on Dec. 17, 2020 with seven SLF operators present, namely: International Solid Waste Integrated Management Specialist Inc., Iwa Besu Corp., IPM Holdings, Wastecon Inc., Phil Ecology Systems Corp., S.B. Hain Enterprises and General Services Inc., and Urdaneta Solid Waste Management.

In that meeting, Antiporda urged SLF operators to “set aside whatever differences they have and close ranks as an association or coalition.

This is the first time operators will unite and have a voice when engaging the DENR and the public sector in discussions geared towards resolving challenges faced by the solid waste management sector,” Antiporda said.