By Freddie Lazaro
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte – The provincial government of Ilocos Norte wants to make the province as the first in the country to have sanitary landfills in all its municipalities.
Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc said he will monitor the heads of the 21 towns and two cities in the province who promised to open their own sanitary landfills by the end of the year.
The mayors in Ilocos Norte made the promise during the consultation meeting last August 8 with Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“Let’s make Ilocos Norte a model in full compliance of the solid waste management act. We can do it if we all work together,” Cimatu prodded the mayors.
“I am looking forward to the day when all towns in Ilocos Norte have their own sanitary landfills,” he said.
Cimatu is doing the rounds of all provinces in the country to ask local leaders to address the worsening problem on garbage collection and disposal.
He admitted that effective solid waste management may be expensive, but added that LGUs can pool their resources to set up a common landfill or loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
Cimatu particularly lauded the officials of Bacarra, Banna, Nueva Era, Paoay, Piddig, San Nicolas, and Vintar for having a sanitary landfill.
Bangui, Dingras, and Sarrat are still building their own waste facility.
Pagudpud was cited for having a materials recovery facility (MRF) in an effort to reduce solid wastes.
Cimatu also urged the local government officials to comply with the Philippine Clean Water Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
He said the air pollution is not yet a problem in Ilocos Norte but he reminded the province to comply with the Philippine Clean Air Act.
Manotoc pledged to work hand in hand with the Ilocano community in protecting the province’s natural resources.