THE Ombudsman closed three open dumpsites in Samar and Leyte for violation of laws on solid waste management.
The closure order was given by the Ombudsman Environmental Team of Investigators and Prosecutors following a public hearing at the Leyte Normal University in Tacloban City last week in celebration of Earth Day. Closed for violation of Republic Act No. 9003 (the National Ecological Solid Waste Management Act) were the the open dumpsites in the municipalities of Hindang and Bato in Leyte and Catarman in the Northern Samar.
The public hearing highlighted the week long activities of the Environmental Ombudsman Team capped by the public forum to assess the compliance of local governments with the Solid Waste Management law. The event was organized by the Office of the Ombudsman, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and civil society organizations.
Senator Loren Legarda acted as keynote speaker during the forum.
The environmental team also participated in an experiential training for environmental action organized by Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and world-renowned environmental lawyer Antonio Oposa Jr. in Bantayan Island, Cebu
Participants included officials from the Ombudsman and the DENR, international environmental lawyers, non-government organizations, workers, green architects, environmental planners and student interns under the auspices of Sea and Earth Advocates of Culture, Arts and Music for the Planet (SEA CAMP).
In a statement, the Ombudsman said the environmental team was also tasked to monitor the post-closure activities of the LGUs concerned and ensure that the provisions of Republic Act No. 9003 and other environmental laws are fully implemented.