Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje today (June 3) forged a memorandum of agreement with 11 Metro Manila local government units for the establishment of appropriate ecological solid waste management systems for homeowners associations of subdivisions and condominiums.
MM local officials on hand to seal the waste management agreement at the DENR’s Social Hall in Quezon City include Caloocan City Mayor Enrico R. Echiverri; Pasay City Mayor Antonino G. Calixto; Taguig City Mayor Ma. Laarni L. Cayetano; Pateros Mayor Jaime C. Medina; Vice Mayor Dr. Jose Fabian Cadiz, representing Marikina Mayor Del de Guzman; City Administrator Ernesto Victorino, representing Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin Abalos, Jr; Engr. Reynaldo Amata, representing Malabon City Mayor Canuto Oreta; Roberto Darilag for Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian; Frederika Rentoy for Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista; Atty. Rafaelito Garayblas for Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, and City Administrator Nelson de Jesus for Paranaque City Mayor Florencio Bernabe, Jr.
The MOA signing forms part of the national celebration of World Environment Day on June 5.
“This partnership we are set to forge with all local executives of Metro Manila is proof that the DENR is serious and relentless in the pursuit of our mandate in solid waste management, and we are committed to extend the necessary assistance to those who will help us implement it,” Paje said.
Paje said that under Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, the responsibility of ESWM is lodged primarily on LGUs. Unfortunately, he lamented, more than a decade after the law was passed, waste management remains a top environmental problem in the country, especially in Metro Manila.
But, Paje said the agency is not losing hope. “We at the DENR remain optimistic we can solve the problem. The challenge is for all of us, particularly the local leaders, to find ways by which we could actually get all families, without exemption, in the act. The Department of Education has already integrated solid waste management in school curriculum to rally our youth in the campaign. This time, we will target the adults to be more responsible,” Paje stressed.
As conceived in the MOA, the DENR is targeting the homeowners associations (HOAs), through the LGUs, as partners in implementing the law, particularly its provisions on waste segregation, with the aim of drastically reducing the amount of garbage thrown into sanitary landfills. In Metro Manila, a total of 4,717 HOAs have already been identified for assistance. The MOA targets the establishment of an ESWM system in concerned barangays and HOAs within a period of one year. Such a system includes segregation at source, segregated collection, and establishment of a materials recovery facility (MRF). The HOAs should also have, within the same period, diverted at least 50 per cent of their waste, and publicized reports on issued ordinances, violations, and model practitioners.
The LGU for its part will, among others, be responsible for identifying a non-government or any private sector organization as partner in identifying the appropriate ESWM system to be adopted by the subdivisions or municipalities. It will also provide counterpart personnel, including “Environmental Police” in barangays, who will assist in the implementation of the technical, enforcement and financial aspects of the project.
Also under the MOA, the DENR will, through the NSWMC, provide the necessary technical support to the LGU and conduct overall coordination and monitoring.
The MOA is also schedule-specific on the submission of deliverables or outputs over a period of 12 months. These include quarterly reports on inception, liquidation of finances, waste diversion and assessment. The timetable also includes the schedule of releases for fund support earlier promised by the DENR to the LGUs.
According to the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), which the DENR secretary chairs, Metro Manila generates more than 8,700 tons of garbage daily, or around 25% of the country’s total daily generation of 35,000 tons.