Construction is set to begin on a 60-hectare state-of-the-art sanitary landfill with a composting and recycling center inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) in Bataan after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) approved its environmental compliance certificate (ECC).
Environment Secretary Elisea G. Gozun has announced the issuance of the ECC to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) for the construction of the New Subic Bay Freeport Zone Sanitary Landfill located at Barangay Tipo, Hermosa, Bataan.
The procedure for the issuance of ECCs has been streamlined with DENR personnel sitting down with proponents to discuss the provisions of the ECC and to ask them to sign an undertaking that they fully understood the provisions of the agreement.
In her letter to SBMA chair Felicito C. Payumo, Gozun said that although it has granted the ECC, DENR will be "conducting periodic and on-the-spot monitoring to ensure compliance with the stipulations," cautioning that the ECC could be revoked if conditions set were not met.
To ensure complete understanding of the ECC conditionalities, Gozun instructed Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Director Julian Amador to sit down with SBMA personnel to discuss the ECC.
This procedure, Gozun said, will henceforth be followed before releasing any ECCs for environmentally critical projects and projects in environmentally critical areas.
"Waste continues to be one of the major problems we face brought about by development and population growth. Through waste reduction in households, coupled with sound management of landfill sites, we are optimistic that we will be able to address waste management without threatening the environment and human health," Gozun said.
She said the recycling and composting center is not only expected to help minimize garbage to be disposed in the sanitary landfill but will also bring in additional livelihood opportunities for residents.
The DENR has put in place nine conditions for the sanitary landfill operation in accordance with Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
Some of the hi-tech features of the sanitary landfill are: (1) full containment system (low permeability liner and final cover); (2) leachate collection and removal system; (3) run-off control facilities; (4) leachate management system; and (5) environmental monitoring (groundwater and landfill gas).
The landfill will be covered by soil daily to ensure that garbage is not exposed to the atmosphere. The site will also have ancillary facilities such as paved access road, weigh bridge and scale house, utilities, a recycling center, and maintenance facilities.
The SBFZ Environmental Units was tasked by the DENR to submit regular reports while a multi-partite monitoring team (MMT) will be established composed of representatives from the DENR, LGUs and the municipal/rural health center.
An Environmental Guarantee Fund (EGF) and an Environmental Monitoring Fund (EMF) will also be set up by the proponent to cover all expenses and compensation of damages to life and property which may be caused by the project