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More than half of local governments in Panay, Guimaras still use open dump sites

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OUT OF the 101 local government units (LGUs) within the islands of Panay and Guimaras, 55 have yet to close or rehabilitate open dumps, based on data from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). Of these, 34 are partially compliant, which means closing activities have been initiated. Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, mandates the closure and rehabilitation of open and controlled dump sites. Of the 46 compliant LGUs, 21 are in Iloilo province, 11 in Aklan, 8 in Antique, 4 in Capiz, and 2 in Guimaras. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Western Visayas Regional Director Jim O. Sampulna lauded the compliant LGUs saying, “We need the LGUs to help us in our fight to clean the environment.” Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has earlier warned LGU leaders of being slapped with criminal and administrative charges if they do not act towards the requirements of the solid waste management law. In Iloilo, the towns of Ajuy, Banate, Concepcion, Sara, and Sta. Barbara were among the 50 LGUs that were placed under investigation by the Environmental Ombudsman for failure to close or rehabilitate open dump sites. — Louine Hope Conserva

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