Barangay officials in Cagayan province were equipped with effective and sustainable strategies in managing solid wastes and water quality in their respective communities during the capacity building for Liga ng mga Barangay held yesterday at the Robinsons Place, Tuguegarao City.

The capacity building, conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 is in line with the enhancement of Regional Solid Waste Management Advocacy Campaign of the Department.

This advocacy dubbed Pinas Basura Buster, the image of DENR in its solid waste management program, was launched on Aug. 10, this year in the said venue.

“You have a big role to play because you have the authority to mobilize the residents in your barangays to responsibly manage the environment,” said Assistant Regional Executive Director for Technical Services Marcos Dacanay during the program.

He appealed the local officials to prioritize proper management of wastes in the communities.

The provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Act were expounded to the participants by resource speaker George Canapi, chief of the Environmental Management Bureau’s (EMB) ESWM Section.

He said RA 9003 strengthens RA 7160 or the local government code of the Philippines that devolved functions to local government units (LGUs) in the enforcement of laws on cleanliness and sanitation, and implementation of SWM programs.

“The role of LGUs in SWM implementation is significant since the collection, segregation and recycling of wastes; and the establishment of materials recovery facilities are their responsibility based on RA 9003,” added Canapi.

Canapi introduced innovations in managing wastes such as the use of bio-composting machine, bottle crusher, and glass pulverizer that are effective equipment in reducing and recycling wastes.

For water quality management, EMB Senior Environmental Management Specialist Jailaine Siriban educated the participants on the prevention or control of water pollution as provided in RA 9275 also known as the Philippine Clean Water Act.

She said barangay officials are responsible for the maintenance of water quality in the sea, rivers, groundwater, and other waterways in their respective areas.

Siriban also encouraged the concerned officials to participate in the transparent monitoring of establishments or industries pertinent to the discharge of water in waterways. This is to ensure environmental compliance and to prevent water pollution.

The barangay officials were encouraged to consult DENR-EMB if they need technical assistance in formulating ordinances relating to environmental management.#