Ombudsman orders 90 Mindanao officials to explain illegal dump sites

Mar. 21, 2016


NO SEGREGATION. Davao City’s implementation of the solid waste management law remains a test, as this man in Magallanes public market is seen dumping just about any kind of trash inside these bins that have been color-coded to segregate non-biodegradable and biodegradable wastes. ( photo by Mick M. Basa)

(File photo)

DAVAO CITY —  The Office of the Environmental Ombudsman has ordered local officials from seven Mindanao local government units to explain on the complaint filed against them for violating the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

In a Philippine Information Agency dispatch on Monday, March 21, the Office of the Ombudsman said the mayors, vice mayors and Sanggunian members of the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Kidapawan and Koronadal and the municipalities of Valencia (Bukidnon), Loreto (Agusan Sur), Marihatag (Surigao del Sur) and General Luna (Surigao del Norte) are among the 90 officials who had been ordered to answer the complaints filed by the Ecowaste Coalition.

Ecowaste Coalition filed 50 complaints against LGUs last month for violating Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

According to Article 6, Section 37 of the said law: “No open dumps shall be established and operated, nor any practice or disposal of solid waste by any person, including LGUs, which constitutes the use of open dumps for solid wastes, be allowed after the effectivity of this Acts: Provided, That within three (3) years after the effectivity of this Act, every LGU shall convert its open dumps into controlled dumps, in accordance with the guidelines set in Sec. 41 of this Act: Providedfurther, That no controlled dumps shall be allowed five (5) years following the effectivity of this Act.”

The ombudsman said a team of investigators from their office was deployed this week to personally serve the orders.

The Environmental Ombudsman also directed the local officials to submit a Safe Closure and Rehabilitation Plan (SCRP) within a non-extendible period of 30 days.

“The plan must detail their proposal to immediately close the open dump site as well as specific tasks, activities and legislative action to be implemented within six months,” it said.

The Environmental Ombudsman team, which is headed by Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Gerard Mosquera, shall handle complaints filed against any public official, employee, office or agency mandated to protect the environment and conserve natural resources where the act complained of appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient.

The statement added that: “Mayors and the City Environment and Natural Resources Officers (CENRO) are the principal executive officers responsible for ensuring compliance with RA 9003. Vice-mayors and Sanggunian members, on the other hand, having the mandate to establish policies of their respective local governments and control over the funds, are likewise charged for conspiring with mayors and the CENROs to commit the violations of R.A. No. 9003 within their jurisdiction.”

If found liable, the local officials may be criminally and administratively charged under the provisions of R.A. No. 9003.(


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