OPERATIVES of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has closed an open dumpsite in Barangay San Nicolas in the City of San Fernando operated by the municipal government of Sta. Ana.

The dumpsite is allegedly disguised as a recycling facility.

Personnel of the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Central Luzon, along with the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group conducted the operation with a cease and desist order against the alleged open dumpsite.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda led the closure of the alleged open dumpsite.

“We are again in this situation that they use the term materials recovery facility (MRF), but in reality, it is an open dumpsite, which the law prohibits,” he said.

The DENR said the operation of the open dumpsite is a violation of Section 37 of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

Under RA No. 9003, no open dumps should be established and operated by any person or even local governments.

DENR records show that in 2018, the DENR issued a Notice of Violation to the Municipal Government of Santa Ana regarding its supposed materials recovery facility, which was “being operated like an open dumpsite.”

A recent inspection on January 12 showed that the open dumpsite is located beside the MRF and occupies around 3,500 square meters, according to the DENR.

The local government of Santa Ana earlier said the alleged open dumpsite is a Transfer Station.

Aside from the cease and desist order, the EMB also directed the Municipal Government of Santa Ana to provide a safe closure and rehabilitation plan within seven days.