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The Franciscan Youths (YOUFRA) of Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor: Feeling triumphant after giving their share to the community. Tree planting and clean up activities are one of the regular activities of these youth to help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change following their weekly formation at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor. (pia-siquijor/Rizalie Anding Calibo)
Central Visayas Region

PIA Press Release
Saturday, January 07, 2012

Bohol gov urges LGUs for creative solutions to waste problem

by Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Jan 7 (PIA) –- Bohol governor Edgar Chatto urges local government units in the province to find creative solutions in waste management and garbage problem or Bohol government may be sued administratively for failure to comply with Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Program.

Chatto admits that “no LGU in Bohol could sufficiently say they have complied with the provisions of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law.”

While many people consider garbage disposal a serious problem, several local government units seemingly do not see it like they do, Chatto noted.

During the recent Ecological Solid Waste Management Technical Working Group meeting at the Crab House in Mansasa, members of the provincial monitoring and evaluation team detailed the apparent lack of concern from some local government units on trash.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) revealed that despite the law that banned the operation of open garbage dumpsites for solid wastes with the option to switch to controlled dumps since 2004, not a sanitary landfill facility has been constructed in Bohol.

If according to Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Program, even the controlled dumps that were allowed until 2006 or five years after the law took effect in 2001, should have been closed for sanitary landfills this time.

Chatto recognized that resources are limited even if LGUs are determined to construct and operate sanitary landfill facility.

“It is high time that local governments explore creative ways to finally bury the trash problem this year,” the governor stressed.

A study by the National Solid Waste Commission Secretariat estimated that each person produces an average per capita of .5 kilos of garbage daily.

With 1.2M population, Bohol produces a daily garbage average of 60 metric tons or 180 metric tons a month, according to DENR estimates.

A member of Bohol Tourism council shared that with no clear garbage disposal and treatment facility, it is safe to assume that these trash will soon get into the river systems, clog canals and cause irreparable damage to the tourism industry in the province.

While the cited law mandates the creation of the Environment Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Municipal Boards, Bohol Environment Management Officer Maria Socorro Trinidad said that based on their evaluation most of these boards do not even meet or could not present minutes of their meetings.

In her report to the council members, Trinidad said “only 15 LGUS have a 10-year Integrated ESWM Plans which are adopted by the Municipal Development Councils and Sangguniang Bayans”.

She identified these towns as Alburquerque, Baclayon, Balilihan, Corella, Cortes, Dauis, Loon, Maribojoc, Sikatuna, Tagbilaran City and Tubigon.

Trinidad further reported that as to ordinances there are Very few ordinances that are aligned with the 10-year Integrated ESWM plan of the LGU and very few LGUs have deputized ESWM enforcers.

She noted that only 13 towns from the first district; six from the second and eight from the third districts have adopted their ordinances to the ESWM plan.

According to the Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO) reports, only the towns of Corella, Cortes, Loon, Maribojoc and Tubigon in District 1 and Duero, Jagna and Loboc in the 3rd district have trained ESWM enforcers but most of them are not even deputized by the towns. (mbcn/rahc/PIA-Bohol)

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