Issue of November 3, 2019
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LT imposes stricter measures on improper waste disposal
by Ofelia C. Empian

Some residents continue to dump their wastes along the Balili River, according to the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources of La Trinidad, Benguet, which said the practice must be stopped.

MENR Officer Arthur Pedro said they have recently apprehended a farmer who dumped vegetable trimmings along Balili River, which is 200 meters from the barangay hall. 

“There are traces of old trimmings, which means they have been dumping in the area long before,” Pedro said.

He said the barangay tanods have noticed that the apprehended individual was coming to and leaving the area carrying sacks although there are no other roads connected to the area.

He said the arrested individual was issued citation tickets for illegal dumping and untimely disposal of wastes and made to pay a fine of P600.

Municipal Ordinance 53-98 or the Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Ordinance prohibits acts such as untimely disposal of waste, non-segregation of waste, open dumping of garbage, no/improper garbage storage system, improper treatment of biodegradable waste (residents are supposed to compost biodegradable wastes at home), burning of garbage, and dirty surroundings.

Violators are categorized as residents, commercial, institutional and industrial establishments, and farmers.

For residents, penalty for first offense is P200 and warning from the mayor; second offense is P500 and a written reprimand from the mayor; and the third offense is P2,500 or imprisonment of five days to one month.

For commercial establishments, first offense ranges from P300 to P1,000 from sari-sari stores to big supermarts; second offense is P1,500 with a written warning of closure for all types; and third offense is P2,500 with a written warning of closure for all types.

First offense for farmers is P500, second offense is P1,000 and third offense is P2,000.

Those caught littering will be fined P50 for first offense, P100 for second offense, and P300 and/or imprisonment for three days.   

Pedro said most of the violations before were unsegregated and untimely disposal but since the imposition of the bantay-basura, bulk of the violations shifted to illegal dumping and burning of wastes. He said most of them dumped along Balili River and  Shilan-Lamut Road.

In 2017, the municipality recorded 169 violators, seven last year, and four violators listed since May this year.

“We are hoping for the compliance of the people right now, aside from the bantay basura advocates. There are CCTV in the designated collection points sunga makita mi suda,” he said.

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