CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The current condition of the open and controlled dumpsites in Pampanga has reached an alarming state, as garbage problems in various towns continues to rise.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) chief Art Punsalan told town municipal engineers on Wednesday about the series of programs the Provincial Government will implement to lessen, if not totally solve, the garbage problem.

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He said Penro is following a scientific method in addressing the problem.

"Since we assumed the position, we have started inspecting dump sites to determine the problem. We also determine the cause and effect of too much garbage. From there, we recommend possible solutions," he added.

Punsalan also noted that certain sanctions and penalties have to be imposed on people, communities, and local leaders who will not comply with the Solid Waste Management Act.

Meanwhile, those who will cooperate and contribute to the success of the campaign against garbage will be given rewards and recognition in the form of projects.

"Alam niyo ang kabuuang pondo na kailangan natin sa unang dawala at kalahating taon para sa pagkolekta ng basura ay aabot na sa P334,454,900 milyon. Sa halagang ito, pwede na tayong magtayo ng isang malaking hospital na may kumpletong pasilidad (The total fund we need in first two and half years for collecting garbage reaches P334,454,900 million. In this amount, we can already build a big hospital with complete facilities)," Punsalan said.

It can be recalled that village chiefs and municipal executives were earlier presented a garbage and waste disposal situationer by officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environment Management Bureau and Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation.

With this, Governor Lilia Pineda is pushing for the establishment of clustered material recovery facilities (MRFs) all over the province.

As a jump start, Pineda urged local officials to identify potential location sites for MRFs.

Earlier, the governor said her administration will provide financial assistance to barangays and municipalities to solve the garbage problem. (Herbert P. Mapiles)