TO SOLVE the increasing problem on solid waste disposal, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 has announced the proposal to amend Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
Dr. Eddie Llamedo, DENR 7 public information officer, said that since RA 9003 was implemented in 2001, the burning of non-biodegradable plastic wastes has been banned because it will cause pollution.
Since burning of plastic is prohibited, Llamedo said it contributed so much to the volume of garbage the local government units (LGUs)are hauling every day.
This has been compounded by the closure by LGUs of its open dumpsites as mandated by RA 9003, which seeks to protect groundwater, aquifers, reservoirs and watersheds from contamination by garbage leachate.
Llamedo said the problem worsened due to lack of Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) in the barangay and lack of sanitary landfills in the city or municipality.
According to the DENR 7 PIO, the proposal to amend RA 9003 includes allowing the burning of plastic waste as long as the pollution shall not exceed the standard limit set in the Clean Air Act.
He said the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) has allocated P50 million for a feasibility study on plastic burning facilities to reduce the volume of garbage.
Llamedo responded to the question of Ron Heri Tan of Lilas Binisaya Inc. during the 888 News Forum who raised the issue on plastic garbage scattered even at the seawaters of Mactan Channel.
Llamedo said the DENR is implementing the National Greening Program (NGP) to protect the environment and adapt to climate change.
So far, DENR 7 planted trees on 60,000 hectares in Region 7, in the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental out of the target of 70,000 hectares.
He cited as example the Farmers’ Marketing Cooperative, which have a contract with DENR 7 to plant bamboos for 2014 in the amount of P670,000.
“We enter contracts with People’s Organizations, Farmers’ Cooperatives and any qualified groups to plant trees. And we are happy that Region 7 has the highest survival rate. This means that for every 100 trees that we planted, 92 are growing,” Llamedo said.