The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has welcomed the approval of the 10-year solid waste management plans (SWMPs) of 160 local government units (LGUs) nationwide, saying it won more allies in the fight against waste pollution.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns Benny Antiporda said the approval was made by the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), which he chairs, during its en banc meeting held last Thursday.

NSWMC is a DENR-led body tasked to oversee the implementation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, which provides that the LGUs are primarily responsible for waste segregation and disposal.

Antiporda said that after providing cities and municipalities with “red carpet treatment” in assisting them in all aspects of environmental protection, the DENR expects them to reciprocate by fully implementing their respective SWMPs and adhering to the provisions of RA 9003.

“We have neglected our environment, but it’s never too late. [The SWMP] is the answer to the worsening problem on waste,” Antiporda told mayors and vice mayors who were present to personally receive the NSWMC resolution approving their SWMPs.

Antiporda vowed to strictly monitor the implementation of the approved SWMPs covering the periods 2014 to 2023, 2015-2024, 2016-2015, 2017-2026, 2018-2027 and 2019 to 2028.

He reminded local executives that they may be held administratively and criminally liable for non-implementation of their approved SWMPs.

“The commission is serious in its war on waste. Waste is always the last and the least, and now it is in a very alarming situation,” Antiporda added.

Earlier, Antiporda said the NSWMC was working to fast-track the approval process for the SWMPs submitted by more than 1,600 cities and municipalities across the country.

The move, he said, would allow the LGUs to immediately implement their respective plans for addressing garbage problems in their localities.

In August, the NSWMC also approved during its en banc meeting the SWMP of Quezon City and of 15 municipalities from Ifugao, Aurora, Isabela, La Union, Quezon, Pangasinan, Bulacan and Nueva Ecija.

In September, 20 LGUs received approval of their plans including the municipalities of Iloilo, Batanagas, Bataan and Tarlac.

The Commission approved during its three en banc meetings in Octoberthe SWMPs of 67 LGUs, including the cities of Legazpi, Calpan and Mandaue, as well as several municipalities in Abra, Pampanga, Oriental Mindoro, Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo, Zamboanga del Norte, Saranggani and Maguindanao provinces. ###