The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) – Region I of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through its Environmental Education and Information Unit (EEIU) broadcasted the third & fourth episodes of the β€œSika Ken Ti Aglawlaw” (You and the Environment) radio program on DZNL Aksyon Radyo 783 kHz on March 11-12, 2021, which focused on the technical and financial assistance provided by EMB-Region I to Local Government Units (LGUs) in their implementation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Act of 2000.

EMB-Region I Director, Engr. Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe, expressed her warm greetings to all the radio listeners and her gratitude to DZNL Aksyon Radyo for partnering with EMB-I to raise public awareness about environmental laws as well as programs and activities of EMB-I. Director Hipe said the public is not yet fully aware of the provisions of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. β€œI want to emphasize that the implementation of RA 9003 is the primary responsibility of the LGUs and the main role of EMB is to provide technical assistance to the LGUs to help them comply with the provisions of the law,” she said. Director Hipe stressed that the DENR will strictly implement Section 37 of R.A. 9003 this year and will shut down open dump sites. She shared that there are only 11 open dump sites in Region I and most of the LGUs are now voluntarily shutting down the operations of their open dump sites in compliance with R.A. 9003. Director Hipe assured the LGUs that EMB-I will continue to provide technical assistance in their implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

EMB-I Ecological Solid Waste Management Section Chief, EnP. Marygail Antonette N. Killa, shared with the listeners that EMB-Region I continuously provides technical assistance to LGUs in their implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act by assisting them in conducting Waste Analysis Characterization Study (WACS), guiding LGUs in the proper closure and rehabilitation of dumpsites and assisting them in the site identification for sanitary landfill facility. She added that 17 Environmental Monitoring Officers (EnMOs) are deployed across the region to conduct information, education and communication activities and monitor the compliance of LGUs with R.A. 9003. EnP. Killa also talked about the financial assistance extended by EMB-Region I to the LGUs for the purchase of solid waste management machineries such as bioreactor and biodegradable waste shredder for composting, including support fund for the construction of Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).

EnP. Killa reiterated the role of the barangay in managing biodegradable waste and collecting recyclables. A Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) shall be established in every barangay or cluster of barangays, which shall receive mixed waste for final sorting, segregation, composting, and recycling. The resulting residual wastes shall be transferred to a long term storage or disposal facility or sanitary landfill of the LGU. She likewise stressed that the collection of residual wastes and special wastes shall be the responsibility of the municipality or city.

The β€œSika Ken Ti Aglawlaw” is a 30-minute radio program which consists of fourteen episodes aired every Thursday and Friday at 10:00 in the morning on AM Radio DZNL and aims to inform the public about the environmental laws and programs of the DENR-EMB as well as to raise their environmental awareness to get involved in taking care of the environment. The third and fourth episodes were hosted by Environmental Management Specialist I Alberto Sotelo and Senior Environmental Management Specialist Maynard Cara of the EEIU.