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The Commission on Audit (COA) chided the Olongapo City government for failing to achieve “clean and health environment” for its inability to fully comply with the Solid Waste Management policies set forth by government.
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In its 2016 annual audit report released recently, the COA noted that 17 barangays in Olongapo City failed to comply with the waste segregation program and establish a Material Recovery Facility.
“This resulted to higher cost of hauling and handling of garbage from the households to the MRF involving a sum of 122,075,716.54 in CY 2016,” the audit body said.
Auditors also noted that garbage collectors exposed themselves to health risks for failing to wear personal protective equipment “to protect them from the hazards of handling solid wastes.”
COA reminded city officials that the city government is mandated under Republic Act 9003 to implement an ecological solid waste management program.
According to the audit agency the city “failed to substantially comply” certain provisions of the law such as the mandatory segregation of solid wastes and the establishment of MRFs.
“Garbage collectors were not equipped with personal protective equipment to protect them from the hazards of handling solid wastes,” COA added.
While the audit agency agreed that there had been serious efforts taken by the city to implement the law, there had also been “weak enforcement” of city ordinances on solid waste management.
“Had proper segregation and waste disposal practiced at the household level and followed diligently, the problem on garbage would have been reduced considerably,” COA stated.
The audit agency added: “Furthermore, due to non-segregation, the amount of toxins entering the atmosphere increased, thus, creating an unhealthy and unpleasant environment posing greater health and safety risks to its citizenry as a whole.”
COA called for intensified information campaign and education program for public awareness of the solid waste laws and programs, and the imposition of “no segregation, no collection,” together with “no littering” policies.
Source: Manila bulletin