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The local government of Bambang in Nueva Vizcaya has strengthened solid waste management as it recently inaugurated its PhP65-million sanitary landfill (SLF).

Sanitary landfills are engineered facilities that serve as final disposal site for solid and residual wastes providing a leachate management system simultaneously storing solid waste while decomposition process takes place thus, protecting the underlying groundwater against contamination. These facilities also prevent air pollution and diseases.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Cagayan Valley Regional Executive Director Atty. Antonio A. Abawag, who represented Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, led the inauguration of the engineered waste management facility which is the first of its kind in Region 2.

In his message delivered by Director Abawag, Secretary Cimatu congratulated the municipality for coming up with the SLF to address the garbage situation in the locality.

"Whether we like it or not, garbage will always be with us and its volume will increase correspondingly as the population grows, hence, we need a right place to dispose our garbage in a proper manner without any risk to public health,” Secretary Cimatu said.

The country’s environment top official also reminded the local officials that there must be a conscious effort to change the culture of insensitivity and indiscretion among the people. “Conceiving and enforcing ways to keep our surrounding clean will be futile as long as some people and entities remain thoughtless and wanton in the disposal of their wastes,” he added.

For his part, lawyer Abawag pinned his hope that other municipalities will follow suit in properly managing solid wastes for a clean environment. He also reported the river and estero cleanups which are now regularly conducted by the DENR with the stakeholders.

Bambang outgoing mayor, Atty. Flaviano Balgos Jr., said waste segregation should start at source for the facility to last. He also challenged the incoming administration to be forward-looking and always consider the future of the children as he emphasized that the government is serious in the enforcement of environmental laws.

To ensure the protection of public health and environment, the local government units (LGUs) are mandated to be primarily responsible in the implementation and enforcement of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management of 2000 within their respective jurisdictions. It likewise mandates the LGUs to construct, operate and maintain waste disposal site.###