THE Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 simultaneously shut down two open dumpsites located in the municipalities of Carmen in northern Cebu and Guindulman in Bohol on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021.
Engineer Cindylyn Pepito, chief of the EMB 7 Environmental Education and Information Unit, said cease and desist orders (CDO) were served to these municipalities Monday due to their continued operation of open dumpsites.
Under Republic Act (RA) 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, the use of open dumpsites is prohibited and sanitary landfills remain the primary long-term method of solid waste disposal.
Pepito said before the closure of the dumpsite beside Luyang River in Carmen, DENR 7 officials had a meeting with Municipal Mayor Carlo Villamor and some of his department heads.
In a statement, the Bureau said since 2018, they had been communicating with the Carmen Municipal Government. The first CDO was issued in March 2018.
Another letter was also sent to Carmen in March 2020, reiterating the EMB 7’s call for the dumpsite’s closure and resubmission of the municipal government’s safe closure and rehabilitation plan. But the letter reportedly went unheeded.
SunStar Cebu has yet to get the side of Mayor Villamor.
Pepito said they have yet to file complaints against the two municipalities. As of now, Carmen can utilize its existing material recovery facility.
Pepito said the EMB 7 will close more open dumpsites in northern and southern Cebu.
On March 3, 2020, a semi-annual compliance report was sent to Guindulman Municipality, instructing it to immediately cease and desist from operating its open dumpsite. On April 1, 2020, a follow-up inspection was conducted by the EMB 7 and it was found out that the Municipality continued to operate its dumpsite and there were no closure and rehabilitation undertakings despite the issuance of CDO.
The EMB 7 pledged to provide technical assistance to LGUs as they try to manage their waste. (WBS)