MORE THAN HALF of the local government units along the Manila Bay watershed have been found non-compliant with environmental law, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.
The DILG said that 53% or 95 of the 178 LGUs from the various regions along the bay failed a checklist that gauges their compliance with environmental laws, with 16 of the worst performers targeted as priorities.
“Based on our assessment, we still have a lot of work to do, and we intend to start with these 16 LGUs as we go along assisting all of the 178. We will help them, hindi namin sila pababayaan,” Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año in a statement Thursday.
Of the 95 LGUs that failed the assessment, 56 are from Central Luzon, 37 from Calabarzon, and two from Metro Manila.
The DILG performed the assessment to measure the LGUs’ compliance with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, the Clean Water Act, the Urban Development and Housing Act, the Water Code, and other such laws.
The Interior Secretary also warned LGUs that do not cooperate with the government’s rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
“We can also file cases against them with the Ombudsman or recommend disciplinary action to the President, if warranted. So we challenge all LGUs to shape up. We need them to fight and win the Battle for Manila Bay,” Mr. Año said.
The DILG also offered assistance to LGUs in order to comply with environmental laws.
“If the problem of the LGU is to create a drainage master plan to upgrade their liquid waste management, we can hold capacity development programs para for them,” Mr. Año said. — Vince Angelo N. Ferreras