In 2013, the Office of the Environmental Ombudsman in collaboration with the DENR-EMB, DILG, UNDP, Zero Waste Philippines, Mother Earth Foundation, Bangon Kalikasan and the NSWMC launched a three-year nationwide campaign to increase awareness of, and promote voluntary compliance with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 or R.A. 9003 under the “Solid Waste Management Law Voluntary Compliance Assessment and Promotion Program”.
Almost three years after its implementation, the Office of the Ombudsman moves forward to investigate LGUs that continuously defy the provisions of R.A. 9003. Phase two of the project aims to improve compliance through the submission of the respective LGUs Priority Corrective Action Plan (PCAP) to be implemented within six-month period and/or submission of 10-Year SWM Plans and safe closure and rehabilitation of open and controlled dump sites.
Close to 600 local government executives in the 13 administrative regions are set to be investigated by the Ombudsman in the 50 complaints filed by Commissioner Romeo Hidalgo of the Ecowaste Coalition, member of the NSWMC on February 10, 2016 at the Office of the Ombudsman, Quezon City.
“Nangyari din yung pangarap ko. For those lives lost during the Payatas trashslide, this is already their justice. Ang daming magagandang batas pero walang nangyayari. I have long been waiting for this, ito na ang pagkakataon. Kung gusto ninyo ng pagbabago, ito na ang pagkakataon sa tulong ng ating Ombudsman, environmentalists, NGO at Sen. Legarda,” Commissioner Hidalgo stated.
Senator Loren Legarda, the principal author and sponsor of the law made a statement in line with the filing of affidavit-complaints. “When you enact a law in this country, it is only a recommendation or an option. It is unfortunate that complaints have to be filed against LGUs for non-compliance with a law that was passed 15 years ago. The fact that there are compliant LGUs only means that it is doable and there is no reason why other LGUs could not follow suit,” said Legarda.
The UNDP showed their support and recognize that each stakeholder have their key role in implementing the law and such collaborative effort is vital to ultimately allow the right of each one to a healthy and sustainable environment.
Hon. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales concluded the ceremonial filing by assuring a firm and decisive response consistent with the rule of law and recognizing due process.
Attached here is the List of Respondent LGUs and Concerned Public Officials per Region