MANILA - Environment (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu on Thursday said his department has shut down all of the dumpsites in the Philippines.
"Gusto ko pong i-report na ... 100 percent na sarado na ang dumpsite. Itong dumpsites ay ito 'yung utos ng R.A. 9003, Solid Waste Management Law," Cimatu said, referring to the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
(I wish to report that ... 100 percent of the country's dumpsites have closed. These dumpsites were shut down under R.A. 9003, Solid Waste Management Law.)
Operation of open dumps is prohibited under the law.
Cimatu said they only managed to shut down all open dumps this year, despite the law enacted two decades ago.
"Nag-umpisa ito noong 2000. Eh 2021 na ngayon, at ngayon pa lang natin napasarado ng dumpsite kasi bawal ito sa batas," he said.
(This started in 2000. But it's 2021 now, so we only managed to shut down all of the dumps because they're prohibited by law.)
Before Cimatu's announcement, the DENR said Mimaropa had the most number of open dumpsites with 28, followed by Western Visayas with 19 in January 2021.
There were no reported open dumpsites in Cagayan Valley, Soccsksargen, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Metro Manila in that period.
The DENR had urged municipalities or cities that do not have sanitary landfills of their own to create a clustered sanitary landfill that would be shared by multiple localities, or to come up with a residual containment area (RCA).
They also reminded local government units to conduct safe closure and rehabilitation on dumpsites.