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Ba’t barado ang estero? DILG to probe LGU’s efforts to clean waterways

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MANILA — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will look into the alleged non-compliance of local government officials in relocating informal settler families (ISFs) residing along Metro Manila’s waterways, an official said Monday.

“Being the chairman of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation, paiimbestigahan ko lahat yan (I will order a probe on all of these),” DILG Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Diño told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Diño said he will find out if local government officials, such as barangay executives, mayors, and governors, are performing their duty to relocate ISFs from dangerous waterways.

He attributed the pollution and clogging of esteros, creeks and rivers to the proliferation of ISFs living along these waterways and their lack of proper waste management.

Massive flooding, especially during the rainy season, is experienced because of the failure to strictly implement the provision of Republic Act (RA) No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

“There is a law, RA 9003, wherein LGU officials (are) supposed to be taking care of the waterways,” he said.

RA 9003 adheres to a systematic, comprehensive, and ecological solid waste management program that ensures the protection of public health and the environment and the proper segregation, collection, transport, storage and disposal of solid waste through the formulation and adoption of best environmental practices.

He said while the public has corresponding roles and responsibilities under RA 9003, the imposition of penalties should be done by the barangay officials.

“We will suspend them. I will recommend that a case be filed against them before the Ombudsman for gross negligence of their duties,” he said.(PNA)