The National Solid Waste Management Commission is doing its best to expedite the approval process for the 10-year solid waste management plans submitted by over 1,600 cities and municipalities, a ranking official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Thursday said.
Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Unit Concerns Benny Antiporda said out of the more than 1,600 applications, only 400 SWMPs have been approved as early as 2014.
“We have a backlog of around 1,200 SWMPs. That’s why we really need to fast-track the approval process so the LGUs may implement their respective plans for addressing garbage problems in their localities,” he said.
He revealed the DENR-led body had approved the SWMPs of 67 LGUs during its three en banc meetings in October.
The SWMPs cover 2014-2023, 2015-2024, 2017-2026, and 2018-2027.
Among those approved last month were the SWMPs of the cities of Legazpi, Calapan, and Mandaue, and several municipalities in Abra, Pampanga, Oriental Mindoro, Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo, Zamboanga del Norte, Sarangani, and Maguindanao.
“Starting November, the NSWMC will try to approve 100 SWMPs a month until the backlog is cleared,” Antiporda said.
“Before, the NSWMC used to approve only 10 or 20 plans a month,” he added.
The approved SWMPs included strategies on residual, recyclable, biodegradable and special wastes, such as the strict implementation of the “no-segregation, no-collection” policy, recycling of single-use plastics, and composting and construction of vault for healthcare wastes.
Municipal ordinances in support of such strategies were also identified.
Since August this year, the NSWMC has been awarding certificates to LGUs whose SWMPs have been approved through resolutions issued by the commission.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said the certificates did not only signify the compliance by local governments to the requirement to submit SWMPs, but it also provides as a guarantee for them to adhere with all the provisions of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.