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CSPPS conducts seminar on Solid Waste Management Implementation in the Philippines

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As part of its policy seminar series, the Center for Strategic Planning and Policy Studies (CSPPS) of CPAf conducted a seminar on the implementation of solid waste management in the Philippines last April 29 this year.  It aimed to provide inputs in the on-going preparation of investment plan on solid waste management for the Sta. Cruz watershed.  The resource speakers were Dr. Myra E. David, Assistant Professor of CPAf and Engr. Eligio T. Ildefonso, Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Commission.

Dr. David’s lecture focused on the barangay-level solid waste management (SWM) around the Sta Cruz Watershed.  She discussed the extent and level of implementation of SWM Act, also known as R.A. 9003, at the barangay-level.  She also highlighted the important provisions of the Act, the mandatory collection and segregation of solid wastes, and the establishment of materials recovery facility (MRF) in every municipality.  She further said that even wastes are segregated at the household level, but during collection, all wastes are placed together in the same garbage truck, which makes segregation useless.  

Dr. David, who is also the UPLB-site Coordinator and Program Operations Manager of the Emerging Interdisciplinary Research Program (EIDR) on Water Governance, also presented the results of the on-site investigations done in barangays of Rizal, Laguna.  Among others, the study team found that although these barangays have existing ordinances on garbage collection and waste segregation, they were enforced poorly.  The team also recommended that barangay-level ordinances on waste management should take into consideration the barangay’s limited financial capability and cultural habits of the community.

On the other hand, Engr. Ildefonso discussed other provisions of R.A. 9003 and explained the role of institutions  involved.  The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) provides the policy guidelines.  The DENR-EMB provides the technical support to the local government unit (LGU).  The LGU is both the waste generator and the mandated enforcer of the law on waste management.  Engr. Ildefonso also enumerated the prohibited acts, suits, and penalties under R.A. 9003, and the incentives available to those who will successfully implement their waste management plan.  Experiences of the different LGUs in the implementation of R.A. 9003 were also presented.  The municipality of Los Baños Mayor Caesar P. Perez, who also attended the seminar, commented that R.A. 9003 has put the major responsibility of its implementation to the LGUs. 

The seminar was attended by local government officials and representatives from the municipalities of Siniloan, Sta. Cruz, Lumban, Calauan, Pagsanjan, Nagcarlan, Rizal, and San Pablo City; and UPLB faculty members, staff, and students. (by Eileen Lorena M. Mamino)

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