Urdaneta City, Pangasinan – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Local Government Units (LGU) Concerns, Solid Waste Management and Strategic Communication and Initiative Service (SCIS) Benny D. Antiporda together with technical personnel of the Environmental Management Bureau, Region- I (EMB- I), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) of Pangasinan Maximo F. Soriano, OIC, CENRO of Eastern Pangasinan (Urdaneta City), Engr. Ronnie Jacinto  and representatives from the DENR- SCIS, Central Office and Regional SCIS (formerly Regional Public Affairs Office) inspected the Urdaneta City Engineered Sanitary Landfill Facilities (SLF) situated in Barangay Catablan, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan on January 27, 2021. The sanitary landfill inspection is also in line with the observance of the Zero Waste Month 2021 this whole month of January.

Initially, the DENR group paid a courtesy call to Urdaneta City, Pangasinan Mayor Julio F. Parayno III. During the courtesy call, Usec Antiporda3 USEC challenge Mayor Parayno to make the Urdaneta City Engineered Sanitary Landfill Facilities to be a “model sanitary landfill” in the country. He urged the local head executive to strengthen the landfill management and promised the full support from the DENR and EMB. Likewise, he praised the mayor for the city’s Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) Processing Center.

The Urdaneta SLF was later inspected by Usec Antiporda, with the technical group from DENR- I, EMB- I, PENRO and CENRO attended by SLF LGU Manager Mr. Felix Vitales who discussed several woes to the facility. Usec Antiporda and the EMB group recommended the construction of SLF water treatment facility, to work on one- way leach, seal the leach, siphon the garbage seepage, identify ideal new cell, among others. In addition, Antiporda gave a reasonable time and commitment for the LGU- Urdaneta to fastrack the needed improvements for the SLF and told the LGU until the end of February this year to accomplish the said improvements to be able to catch- up with the demands of RA 9003 and not a potential hazard to human health or the environment within Urdaneta City. The said SLF is co- managed by LGU- Urdaneta and the private sector- MA Enterprises.

The DENR wanted to accelerate the national and local efforts to implement strictly and properly the provisions of RA 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 which marked this year as its 20th year since its enactment. Republic Act (RA) 9003 was first signed in January 26, 2001, calls for the institutionalization of a national program that will manage the control, transfer, transport, processing and disposal of solid waste in the country chaired by DENR.  (GCG-RSCIG- I)