THE environment-advocate group EcoWaste Coalition yesterday urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to order the closure of an open dumpsite in Mapandan, Pangasinan.
The group, through its zero waste campaigner Daniel Alejandre, made the appeal as a response to the complaints of affected residents of Bgy. Primicias, Mapandan, who are worried that they might get sick or contract diseases due to the unlawful operation of the dumpsite.
“We look forward to the immediate issuance of a cease and desist order directing the Office of Mayor Gerald Glenn Tambaoan to halt open dumping in Bgy. Primicias and to abide by the requirements of RA 9003,” Alejandre said in his letter to DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and DILG Secretary Eduardo Año.
“The open dump does not fit the good image of Mapandan, which is considered as one of the ‘cleanest, safest and greenest’ municipalities in Pangasinan,” he told the secretaries.
The open dump is allegedly operated by the local government unit in contravention of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which, among other requirements, bans the establishment or operation of open dumps.
RA 9003, particularly Section 37, requires the closure of open dumps by February 2004 and controlled dumps by February 2006.
Open dumps such as the one that operates in Mapandan is, as per RA 9003, “a disposal area wherein the solid wastes are indiscriminately thrown or disposed of without due planning and consideration for environmental and health standards.”
Based on the information received, the open dump was once a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) that degenerated into a filthy dumping ground attracting flies and emitting unbearable stench.
The open dumpsite is located not far from residential houses, an elementary school and a secondary school.