THE government's drive against illegal dumpsites in the country has been successful in Central Luzon.
This, as most cities and municipalities in the region affected by the program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) against open dumpsites managed to cope up and avoided any garbage crisis.
"If there's a will, there's a way," said DENR Regional Executive Director Paquito Moreno Jr.
The official said no single incidence of garbage crisis occurred following the DENR’s operations against open dumpsites in the region.
“It’s like business as usual”, said Moreno.
He attributed the success of their operations to the cooperation of local government officials in Central Luzon.
“LGUs (local government units) in Central Luzon played a significant role in the closure of open dumpsites in the region have been cooperative and supportive with the DENR campaign including implementation of Solid Waste Management Law,” Moreno said.
LGUs now have the option to bring their solid waste to existing sanitary landfills (SLF) or a residual containment area following the closure of the illegal dumpsites.
For Central Luzon, the DENR continues to rely on the services of legitimate, private sector-led sanitary landfills in the region.
"The presence of an engineered sanitary landfill in Tarlac contributed to the success of DENR Secretary Frank Cimatu's campaign as it ably provided the necessary facilities to accommodate a large number of wastes all over the region," said Moreno.
Moreno was referring to Metro Clark Waste Management facilities in Capas, Tarlac that currently serves cities and municipalities of Central Luzon, including Pangasinan province.
Metro Clark has engineered sanitary landfill that strictly adheres to the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
The facility can accommodate more than 3,000 tons of garbage daily.
DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda earlier announced all the dumpsites that have been closed down will have to undergo the Safe Closure and Rehabilitation Plan of Dumpsites under the supervision of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).
"Local government units may seek technical assistance of the EMB on how to conduct the Safe Closure and Rehabilitation Plan for the respective dumpsites in their areas of jurisdiction,” Antiporda said.
LGUs may temporarily dump their waste into residual containment areas while negotiating a Memorandum of Agreement with another LGU operating an SLF, finalizing a contract with a privately operated SLF, or awaiting operationalization of their own SLF.
A total of 335 open dumpsites all over the country were closed by the DENR.