The Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Sunday said it has already shut down all illegal dumps nationwide.
Secretary Roy Cimatu said they were able to complete the closure of the 335 open dumps after the strict enforcement of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
“This is a victory for the environment and the DENR,” he said.
“Despite the limitations brought about by the pandemic, our people never wavered in their sworn duty as public servants to get the job done,” he added.
Section 37 of the Act prohibits the use of open dumps for solid waste.
Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny Antiporda said the closure of the 335 open dumps completes the closure of all open dumps in the country.
“This shows that the DENR walks the talk and strictly adheres to what Secretary Cimatu taught us to do,” he said.
Antiporda is also the alternate chair of the National Solid Waste Management Commission.
“We have shown the public that they cannot escape the long arm of the law. It will eventually catch up with them for violating any and all laws,” he said.
With the closure of all open dumpsites, local government units have the option to bring their solid waste to existing sanitary landfills or to a residual containment area.
“It is important that all LGUs follow the law on solid waste management such as waste avoidance, waste segregation, recycling and composting of biodegradable wastes,” Antiporda said.
Meanwhile, Antiporda has announced the filing of cases against the mayor of Urdaneta, Pangasinan for violation in the environmental clearance certificate of the town’s sanitary landfill, and the mayor of Sta Ana, Pampanga for the operation of an open dump.