EcoWaste Coalition Welcomes DENR-EMB’s Online System to Monitor LGU Compliance to RA 9003

The zero waste advocacy group EcoWaste Coalition has welcomed the government’s adoption of an online system of monitoring compliance by local government units (LGUs) to Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

Last week, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Director William Cuñado announced a “simpler and faster” online reporting system to efficiently monitor LGU compliance to RA 9003 with the help of 307 environmental monitoring and enforcement officers (ENMOs) nationwide.

Unlike the previous system where monitoring reports reached EMB offices days after the incident, the new online system provides real-time reporting, allowing for quick response by concerned LGUs, the EMB explained.

“With the newly improved system, we can quickly post, share and keep track of reports and complaints more efficiently,” Cuñado said. “Our counterparts in LGUs can immediately view the report and act on it.”

“We welcome EMB’s ongoing efforts to optimize online systems in pursuit of its mission to protect, restore and enhance environmental quality and in line with the recent presidential directive,” said Jove Benosa, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

In his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Roa Duterte announced that “the national government shall lead the way in our transition to online systems,” saying that e-governance “will  enable our bureaucracy to better transition into in the ‘new normal’ and cut or minimize red tape.”

“With the adoption of the new system for online reporting, we can anticipate speedier response by concerned LGUs to citizens’ complaints arising from the lack of effective implementation of RA 9003.  We hope that essential information, including actions taken by the EMB and the LGUs, will also be available online in recognition of the public’s right to know,” Benosa said.

Under RA 9003. “the LGUs shall be primarily responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this Act within their respective jurisdictions.”

The same law states that “segregation and collection of solid waste shall be conducted at the barangay level specifically for biodegradable, compostable and reusable wastes,” while “the collection of non-recyclable materials and special wastes shall be the responsibility of the municipality or city.”

According to the EMB,  ENMOs have been deployed nationwide since 2017 to provide assistance to LGUs, particularly barangays, in establishing an effective solid waste management program and strengthen the enforcement of other environmental laws and regulations.

The deployment of ENMOs is in line with the implementation of the Solid Waste Enforcement and Education Program or SWEEP, which supports the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in developing systems and mechanisms for improved monitoring and enforcement of environmental laws through strengthened partnership with LGUs and other stakeholders.