You may be surprised to find out that we have a dedicated Republic Act that outlines how we should be throwing our trash. Yup, you got that right! Here’s 10 things you need to know about this 18-year old law:
- There’s a bureau under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) called the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). They are empowered to basically keep Filipinos healthy, the environment intact, and environmental programs economically viable. Engr. Metodio Turbella is the head of this bureau.
- Under the EMB is the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) which is in charge of creating model solid waste management plans that local government units (LGUs) can follow to comply with the National Solid Waste Management Framework. The Commissioner and Private Sector Representative from the Recycling Industry Sector, for NSWMC is Mr. Crispian Lao.
- The NSWMC is required to publish a report every 2 years that should serve as an update on the state of compliance under RA 9003. The commission has, since 2000, published 1 draft report covering 2008-2014.
- LGUS are required to have recycling and composting programs as part of their Solid Waste Management Plans. There are many best case examples for this like Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Cebu City, and Marikina City, but it’s far from being widely-implemented across LGUs.
- Every barangay should have a materials recovery facility (MRF) that aims to divert waste from the landfill. In case you’ve never seen one, here’s a photo from Rappler.
- It’s illegal to throw your trash without segregating it. All LGUs are required to collect waste only when it’s sorted.
- It’s illegal to liter in public areas. There are a number of prohibited acts whose penalty can range from PHP 1,000 to PHP 1,000,000, and imprisonment of up to 6 years. Some of these include yes, littering in public areas, but also open burning of solid waste and causing or permitting the collection of non-segregated waste.
- Companies and LGUs are actually given tax and duty exemptions for importation of machinery needed to run solid waste management plans.
- There’s a Solid Waste Management Fund, available to LGUs, that can be used for solid waste management facilities, awards, research, or technical building activities.
- Any citizen may file a civil, criminal or administrative case against any person who violates the RA 9003 provisions. And what’s more is filing fees are FREE.
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