MANILA – The country may finally see the closure of all open dumpsites nationwide.

Magawa kaya? Cimatu orders all open dumpsites closed by March 2021

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MANILA – The country may finally see the closure of all open dumpsites nationwide.

READ: Duterte lauds Cimatu for Manila Bay ‘white sand’ project

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu has ordered all the agency’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) regional directors to step up efforts against open dumpsites in their respective areas of jurisdiction, noting that Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000) prohibits these facilities.

“This is my directive to them: All open dumpsites must be closed by the end of March this year!” he announced Tuesday in a message for the RA 9003’s 20th anniversary celebration.

He said a review of RA 9003’s implementing rules and regulations are already underway “to make way for better and bigger sanitary landfills”.

RA 9003 said sanitary landfill is a waste disposal site that’s “designed, constructed, operated and maintained in a manner that exerts engineering control over significant potential environmental impacts arising from the development and operation of the facility.”

“Open dump shall refer to a disposal area wherein the solid wastes are indiscriminately thrown or disposed of without due planning and consideration for environmental and health standards,” RA 9003 noted.

Upon assuming DENR’s top post, Cimatu prioritized solid waste management as he observed RA 9003 was neither promptly nor fully implemented despite the country’s increasing waste generation.

“We have so much catching up to do,” he said.

No-nonsense implementation of RA 9003 already resulted in increased closure of open dumps, establishment of more materials recovery facilities and sanitary landfills as well as further development of LGUs’ respective 10-year solid waste management plans, he noted.

“I’m honored to report that we have gained significant ground,” he said.

The campaign against open dumps has particularly been relentless, Cimatu continued.

“As of yesterday (Jan. 25) at 7 p.m., report that reached our office indicated that we have thus far closed a total of 38 open dumpsites in the regions,” he said.

Majority of regions were able to each close around two dumpsites, he noted.

“The report also states that Region IV-B was able to close 17 dumpsites while Region VI was able to close five,” he said further.

Cimatu acknowledged much of such accomplishment was inspired by DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda’s efforts to close open dumps in Bataan, Pampanga and Cavite provinces.

“His aggressive yet decisive move is being followed by our EMB regional directors nationwide,” he said.

Antiporda assured DENR will “excellerate” or excel and accelerate efforts to implement RA 9003.

“In the next two years, we commit to work even harder,” he said in his message for RA 9003’s 20th anniversary celebration.

Aside from closing open dumps, he said DENR will help further promote the development of sanitary landfills nationwide, practice of waste segregation at home and improvement of garbage collection.

There’ll be house-to-house campaigns as well to promote solid waste management among communities, he noted.

“Yes, we can do it!” he added. “And we must do it! Let us all manage our garbage towards a cleaner, healthier and progressive Philippines.” (PNA)

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POLITIKO / Across the Nation

POLITIKO / Latest News

May parusa ‘pag umayaw! AFP requires soldiers to be vaccinated vs COVID-19

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday said coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) inoculation is mandatory for all of its personnel but they have the option to choose among vaccine brands other than Sinovac at their own expense.

“Thus, to get inoculated or not is not an option for the members of the AFP, it is a duty. At the most, the exercise of an option will be the option to as to what brand of vaccine they will be availing of, but the cost of which will not be paid by the AFP,” AFP spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in an online press briefing.

Malacañang earlier announced that the first batch of Sinovac Biotech vaccines composed of 600,000 doses donated by China is set to arrive on Sunday (Feb. 28), with 100,000 doses of which will be given to the Department of National Defense, the AFP’s mother agency.

Aside from military personnel, Arevalo added that their chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana has said that their dependents must be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, those opting for other vaccine brands who decided to forego their inoculation can do so but once they are called to duty to serve as front-liners, they will have no choice but to follow.

“They must perform their duties and task but they will have to resort to the traditional health protocol, mag-mask, mag-shield, maghugas ng kamay at mag-maintain ng social distance pansamantala habang hindi pa sila natuturukan ng vaccine na pinipili nila (like the wearing of mask, face shields, regularly washing their hands, and maintaining social distance while they are yet to be vaccinated with the brand of their choice),” Arevalo said.

Meanwhile, said AFP personnel assigned and performing duties that will expose them to Covid-19 patients are required to have themselves vaccinated with the available vaccines.

He added that the AFP will play three major roles in the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine — security, medical and logistics support operations. (PNA)

Payag ba sa barter? Bello waiting for UK’s response to PH offer to deploy more healthcare workers

MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is waiting for the response of the United Kingdom (UK) on its proposed provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine amid UK’s request for an exemption from the deployment cap of Filipino healthcare workers (HCWs).

In a telephone interview on Thursday, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they expect the UK government to respond on the issue within 10 days.

“I told them for me to be able to recommend it to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases), I have to be assured of the safety of our workers. The only way we can be assured about the safety of our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) is (through) the vaccine,” he said.

Bello said the UK may want to send the coronavirus vaccines so the country can immunize the nurses before they are deployed.

“For us to be able to send our medical workers, we want to ensure that they are safe and their health is secured. We don’t have the vaccine, if they want, they can send us (vaccine),” he added.

Bello said he did not provide specific quantities of the vaccines.

“Why not include all OFWs and not just HCWs. In case they are ready to give us the vaccines, I will give them the number of OFWs that will be vaccinated. I just want to be sure that those who will be deployed have received the vaccine,” he added.

The Philippine government is asking the UK and Germany to provide vaccines against Covid-19 for OFWs as part of the agreement in relation to the deployment of health service workers, particularly nurses.

The country has two bilateral agreements with the UK in 2002 and 2003.

The UK and Germany are seeking to be exempted from the 5,000 cap on the deployment of nurses being implemented by the government to ensure there is an adequate number of nurses in the country in case the need arises.

Meanwhile, Bello said he understands the reaction of the people on the issue.

“They thought I would barter our nurses with the vaccine. I just hope that before they accuse me, they should have asked me first and look at what really happened. They just criticized and what they are saying is not true,” he added. (PNA)



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