THE City Council requested the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) to submit its observations on the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan to guide its action on the pending plan to solve the current garbage woes of the city.

The local legislative body urged the EMB-CAR to submit its observations on the plan within 15 days before formally acting on matters that will give the city direction on its garbage disposal management.

Engr. Alex Luis, EMB-CAR representative who appeared before the regular session of the council Monday, said the agency does not object to the approval made by the National Solid Waste Commission (NSWMC) on the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan even without the comments and endorsement from the agency and the local legislative body as the NSWMC is mandated to approve solid waste management plans of local governments.

However, the council wants the EMB-CAR to formally submit its position on the city’s solid waste management plan to guide its decision on the plan and its eventual implementation which could free up the big chunk of the annual budget used for hauling the city’s solid waste to the sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac.

Luis confirmed the explanation of City General Services Officer Romeo Concio the submission it made to the NSWMC was purposely for comments and recommendations but the Commission decided to approve the submitted plan without any comments and recommendations.

When the plan was submitted later to the local legislative body for approval, the council decided to suspend the implementation of a portion of the plan, particularly the item on the city’s integrated solid waste management.

Further, the council wants the EMB-Car to officially comment on the proposed use of the Antamok open-pit site of the Benguet Corporation in nearby Itogon town as a sanitary landfill with a waste-to-energy component.

Under the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, all local governments are required to prepare their respective 10-year solid waste management plans subject to review and approval by the NSWMC to solve the environmental and health hazards posed by the unregulated dumping of solid wastes in open pit dumpsites which must also be closed.

Based on the law, local governments are also mandated to adopt alternative modes of garbage collection and disposal to guarantee the preservation and protection of the environment and the health of people living within the said communities. (Dexter See)