All 180 barangays in city lack functional waste facilities – COA

By: Gerome Dalipe

ALL 180 barangays of Iloilo City have no functional material recovery facilities to segregate and reuse their solid wastes, state auditors discovered.

In its annual report, the Commission on Audit (COA) lamented the city government’s failure to impose the establishment of material recovery facilities in all of its barangays.

This practice violated Sec. 32 of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 dated July 24, 2000.

“Thus, collection, sorting, segregation, composting and recycling of wastes at source or at the barangay level, specifically for biodegradable, compostable and reusable wastes are not exhaustively implemented,” read the COA report.

Sec. 32 of the law provides for the establishment of materials recovery facility in every barangay or cluster of barangays.

For this purpose, the barangay or cluster of barangays shall allocate a certain parcel of land for the facility.

The City Government reported in 2018 that only 69 villages, or 40 percent, have recovery facilities. However, most of these facilities are not fully functional.

In December 2018, the City Government has created a team for the implementation of junkshops as an alternative to the material recovery facilities.

Subsequently, 16 junkshops entered into a memorandum of agreement with the barangays for the junkshops to buy the scraps of the barangay.

Despite being implemented in 2017, the City Government has not yet fully recognized this alternative.

With the non-imposition of the recovery facilities in all barangays, the auditors said the 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan of the City Government, which ends in 2026, is in a “standstill.”

“Non-establishment of MRFs in every barangays defeated the goals and objectives of the Solid Waste Management Act in ensuring the environmentally-sound collection, sorting, segregation, composting and recycling of wastes,” the report read.

In the report, the auditors urged the City Government to strictly impose and monitor the establishment of recovery facilities in barangays.

The auditors also asked the City Government to implement fully the agreement between the barangays and junk shop owners and closely monitor the activities undertaken by both parties.