CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Bent to end the province’s garbage disposal problem, Governor Lilia Pineda instructed all barangay captains and mayors on Tuesday to identify suitable sites for the material recovery facilities (MRFs).

Pineda led the ‘Solid Waste Management Consultation and Orientation’ held at the Benigno Hall, of the Capitol compound.

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Village chiefs and municipal executives were presented a garbage and waste disposal situationer by officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environment Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) and Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation.

After seeing the effects of indiscriminate dumping of garbage, Pineda said it is time to fast track solutions to the garbage problem and to start the segregation at the barangay level.

“We will help the barangays and municipalities to put up MRFs for the continuous solution of the problem with garbages. We cannot handle the expensive payment at Metro Clark. So, we really need segregation and transfer station to avoid dumped garbage in villages and dikes,” Pineda added.

The governor also added she would direct the creation of MRF cooperatives to spur livelihood of nearby communities and called for a concerted drive in solving the garbage disposal woes of the province.

“Kailangang magtulong tulong ang lahat ng mga mayors at mga kapitan sa iba’t ibang barangay sa pamamagitan ng pagtuturo ng tamang waste segregation at paglalaan ng malaking pondo upang masustina ang mga programa sa pagresolba sa problema sa basura,” Pineda said.

Environment and Natural Resources Office chief Art Punsalan meanwhile disclosed that Pampanga River is the biggest dump site in the province.

“This is a major dump site used by all the riverside municipalities such as Arayat, Candaba, San Luis, San Simon, Apalit, Sto. Tomas, Minalin, Masantol and Macabebe,” he said.

Bulk of garbage being dumped along the Pampanga River finds it way to Manila Bay and has continuously degraded the major body of water, destroying most of its natural resources along the area.

The province has 25 illegal and three controlled dump sites in its 15 municipalities and two cities, Punsalan said, adding that the Solid Waste Management Council will be created soon upon the orders of the Pineda.

Department of Interior and Local Government Director Angie Blanco said there were several local government units who violated the Solid Waste Management Act 2000.

Blanco reminded all barangay officials that they are duty-bound to implement the said law. Under the law, no open and controlled dumps shall be established and operated, nor any practice or disposal of solid waste by any person, including LGUs, be allowed after the activity of this act.

However, it was learned from the DENR-EMB that most of the local government units are wittingly and unwittingly causing and permitting the collection of non-segregated or unsorted waste and open burning of solid waste. ( Herbert P. Mapiles/with reports from Jovi T. De Leon)