Senate to probe state of dumps

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05:44 AM February 19th, 2012

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By: TJ Burgonio, February 19th, 2012 05:44 AM

MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III is seeking an inquiry into the condition of garbage dumps across the country after the weather bureau warned of more La Niña-induced rains in the coming months.

Pimentel said the aim of the inquiry is to find out how the Solid Waste Management Act of 2003 could be effectively implemented in the face of reports that more than 1,000 local government units operating open and controlled trash dumps had been tagged for environmental violations.

“We want to find out how far and how deep implementation of the solid waste management law has gone in light of several aggravating environmental situations that have happened around the country,” he said in filing Resolution No. 702.

The resolution directs the Senate committees on health and demography, local government, and other appropriate committees to look into the condition of all dumps nationwide.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has projected a wet season that will be aggravated by La Niña and warned of heightened rains up to August that would directly impact on the condition of garbage dumps.

Pimentel also stressed the urgency of a systematic rehabilitation of decommissioned dumps “to reduce the continuing biological, chemical and physical threats” they pose.

The senator cited the fatal incident in Baguio City last August where heavy rains brought by Typhoon “Mina” caused the garbage mound at the Irisan dump to loosen and topple a retaining wall, killing three people and damaging homes.

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