Ombudsman orders Mindanao execs to answer trash accusations | Inquirer News

Ombudsman orders Mindanao execs to answer trash accusations

/ 12:03 AM March 24, 2016

DAVAO CITY—The Ombudsman has ordered officials of at least seven Mindanao local government units (LGUs) to answer accusations that they violated a law prohibiting open dumps and requiring LGUs to build and operate sanitary landfills instead.

Mayors, vice mayors and members of councils in the LGUs were served with orders to explain why they should not be criminally and administratively charged with violating the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

An environmental group had filed a complaint at the Ombudsman against officials of the cities of Cagayan de Oro (Misamis Oriental), Kidapawan (North Cotabato), Koronadal (South Cotabato) and Valencia (Bukidnon).


The complaint also covered officials in the towns of Loreto (Agusan del Sur), Marihatag (Surigao del Sur) and General Luna (Surigao del Norte).


The Ombudsman in Mindanao said officials who received the order have up to 30 days to submit their answers.

The officials were also required to submit so-called Safe Closure and Rehabilitation Plans that would commit them to shutting down their areas’ open dumps.

The Ombudsman said it is acting on a complaint filed by EcoWaste Coalition last month, claiming that the local officials had violated the law by continuing to operate open dumps.

The Ombudsman said the law mandated that, starting in 2003, “every LGU shall convert its open dump to controlled dump.”

Lack political will

Sen. Loren Legarda, author of the solid waste law, said there seems to be lack of political will among local officials to implement the law.


Legarda is supporting the filing of the complaint against the local officials.

In Cagayan de Oro City, the head of the Catholic-ran Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan here has joined thousands of residents in asking the city council to approve the budget for the closure and rehabilitation of the city’s open dump in Upper Dagong in Barangay Carmen. Allan Nawal and Jigger Jerusalem, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Garbage, Landfill, Mindanao, Ombudsman, sanitary, sanitation, trash, Waste

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