DENR to local government: Be tough on trash violators for Undas

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu called on local government units (LGUs) to impose penalties on individuals who will be caught violating the trash law this coming All Saints and All Souls day. 

LGUs should not hesitate penalizing litterbugs by imposing fines or making them render community service,” said Cimatu on Sunday. 

Republic Act No. 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act prohibits “littering, throwing, dumping of waste matters in public places, such as roads, sidewalks, canals, esteros or parks, and establishment, or causing or permitting the same,” with penalties ranging from fines of P300 to P500 or community service for 1-15 days.

LGUs may apply the full force of the law against litterbugs if only to send strong message that littering would not be tolerated,” Cimatu said.

The DENR’s announcement comes as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) launched a series of forums promoting cleanliness in barangays around the metro, dubbed as “Lodi Ko si Kap Sa Kaayusan, Kalinisan at Pagbabawas ng Basura sa Barangay."

Out of the 17 LGUs in Metro Manila, the MMDA said it has so far conducted the barangay forums in 7: San Juan, Malabon, Pateros, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Navotas, and Mandaluyong.

The sessions call on village captains to enforce the Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. Local chiefs who comply will be branded as “lodi” (a local play at the word idol) by the MMDA.

According to the MMDA, 5,000 tons of trash were collected from the 6 major public cemeteries and memorial parks in the city.

The MMDA added Metro Manila produces 8,000 tons of trash on an ordinary day.

Cimatu reminded the LGUs of their responsibility to segregate and dispose of the trash.

“Let us respect the sanctity of both the occasion and the final resting place of our departed loved ones by making the surroundings free from unwanted garbage,” Cimatu said.