COA gives failing grade to Gerona, Tarlac in solid waste mgt
State auditors gave a failing grade to the municipal government of Gerona in Tarlac for a poor implementation of its solid waste management program in 2015.
In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the municipality failed to adopt a systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program that would ensure the proper segregation, collection, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of solid waste.
This resulted in the failure of the local government unit to achieve the primary objective of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, to protect the municipality’s environment and public health from substantial present and potential hazards of solid wastes.
In terms of mandatory segregation of waste from source, the auditors said the municipal government had properly marked containers but the contents of each bin were mixed biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage.
The auditors said there was no mandatory segregation of wastes at source in other areas where there were no separate containers for each type of waste.
The auditors also spotted that all types of waste materials were mixed in the garbage trucks and segregation facility of the municipality, which meant that the waste materials were collected despite non-segregation.
The auditors added that there was a central Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) established, but the composting drums were not operational since last year.
The municipality also does not have its own sanitary landfill, but there was an existing Memorandum of Agreement between the municipality and the Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation for final disposal of the collected residual municipal solid wastes at the Metro Clark Sanitary Landfill Facility at Clark Special Economic Zone.
The municipality was also found to have not implemented the anti-littering provision of the law because of the presence of scattered wastes on the streets and other public places.
The municipality also has no “No-Littering” ordinance, because deliberation on the matter was still on-going at the Sangguniang Bayan, the auditors added.
“The above observations manifested that the Municipality was not efficient in implementing Republic Act 9003, thus its solid wastes continued to pose present and potential hazards to the environment and public health,” the auditors said.
The COA urged the municipal mayor Dennis Norman Go to coordinate public and private sectors for the implementation of the five basic environmental regulations on preserving and protecting the environment and public health as required under the law.
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