>GUIHULNGAN CITY, Negros Oriental – In its pursuit to comply with mandates of the Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, this newly converted city has identified a probable site for a sanitary landfill. This city has recently received its strike two notice for non-compliance of said law, which mandates the closure of all open dumpsites and the establishment of sanitary landfill. The second strike notice came from the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC). Meanwhile, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Oscar Magallones said that in response to said notice, Guihulngan has already pinpointed a possible site for their sanitary landfill which is now subject for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)’s approval.
“We went there last week for an initial site inspection but we need to further assess the area for suitability, if it complies with the law’s criteria since we noticed there was a creek near the site,” said Magallones. RA 9003 clearly states in its criteria that the sanitary landfill should not be within 300 meters of a water source. “We still have to determine how far that creek is from the city’s proposed site,” he said. Guihulngan is currently one of the LGUs in the province that is listed on DENR’s strike two category for non-compliance of the law which calls for the conversion of open and controlled dumpsites into sanitary landfill facilities. Magallones disclosed that of the 25 LGUs in this province only Bayawan and Bais were able to comply with the law’s requirement. It can be recalled that DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje recently renewed the department’s call for erring LGUs to comply with RA 9003 after noting the department’s already decade-long leniency with the non-compliant LGUs.