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DENR shuts down 4 open dump sites in Pampanga

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shuts down last week four illegally operating dump sites in this province.

Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Unit Concerns, issued the cease-and-desist order (CDO) against the City of San Fernando, and municipal governments of Bacolor and Porac for operating the illegal dump sites.

The open dump sites were located at Lara village in City of San Fernando, Maliwalo in Bacolor town, and barangays San Jose Matli and Matli Dos, both in the town of Porac.

“Poor waste management at dump sites poses serious threats, not just to the environment, but also to public health. That is why, we are taking our messaging to uphold proper waste disposal to a higher level to encourage communities, especially our local government units, to not make open fields as repository areas for wastes,” he said.

Under the law, establishment and maintenance of an open dumpsite is strictly prohibited.

The DENR found mixed garbage of plastics, diapers, polystyrene and even hospital wastes like syringes and tubings in the dump site.

Antiporda said the DENR is keeping an eye on the operations of illegal dump sites, since it bears a serious impact on the ongoing cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

“We cannot clean Manila Bay if we allow this,” he said, pointing out that dump sites have leachate, which could flow to nearby rivers and bodies of water.

The DENR also summoned the local chief executives and their respective municipal councils to explain the operations of the illegal dump sites and to present their immediate plan of action for the closure and rehabilitation of these garbage dumps.

“They [municipalities] were given seven days to explain the illegal operation of the dump site, as supported by the necessary documents, clearances and other permits issued pertaining to the implementation of the disposal site,” he said.

Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, provides that no open dumps shall be established and operated, nor any practice or disposal of solid waste by any person, including local government units, which constitutes the use of open dumps for solid wastes, is allowed.

Any person found violating the law shall be fined with P500,000 plus an amount not less than 5 percent but not more than 10 percent of its net annual income during the year.

But if local government officials and officials of a national agency are found guilty of violating the law, they can be charged administratively in accordance with Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code.

Meanwhile, Mayor Edwin Santos denied the existence of an open dump site in the City of San Fernando.

“We are not operating an open dump site. We only have the City Transfer Station,” Santiago said in a statement following the issuance of a CDO against the operation of the facility in Lara village here.

City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Regina Rodriguez also said no dump site is operating in the city.

Rodriguez said the former dump site has been converted to a transfer station when it was rehabilitated through the city’s greening program.

“We are fully implementing RA 9003. From the garbage collection, to the sorting and transferring, our system works. We are in partnership with the Metro Clark Waste Management Corp., which collects the garbage every day from our transfer station. We will never tolerate the existence of an open dump site here in San Fernando,” he said.

Rodriguez added that the transfer station was reviewed and approved by the DENR Region 3 pursuant to the Department’s Administrative Order 9, Series of 2006, or the “General Guidelines in the Closure and Rehabilitation of Open Dump site and Controlled Dump Facilities.”

Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario/PNA

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15 public schools in Pampanga to undergo rehab works

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CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga—A total of 15 public schools in Porac town in the province will undergo some improvement works that will make them conducive to students’ learning and wellbeing.

The move is through the support of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program aimed at improving the educational facilities for students in its neighbor communities.

The state-run firm has donated various construction materials that include paints, hollow blocks, cement, lumber, roofing, and steel bars, among others.

CDC president and CEO Noel F. Manankil, in a statement on Wednesday said the donated materials were identified based on the needs of each school as evaluated by the personnel of the CDC–External Affairs Division.

Among the beneficiaries of the project are Salu Elementary School, Balubad Elementary School, Jalung Elementary School, Pulung Santol Elementary School, Palat Elementary School, Pias Elementary School, Pio Elementary School, Mancatian Elementary School and Pulung Santol High School.

Likewise, elementary schools in Planas, Mitla, Sepung Bulaun, Katutubo and Sapang Uwak villages and at Camias Resettlement in Porac also received the same assistance from CDC.

Manankil said the said schools comprise the first batch of recipients under the project.

“We have the primary moral obligation to support our local government units (LGUs) and we have a lot of programs in CDC that we want them to be involved,” he said.

He added that the state-owned firm, together with its locator companies, will create more strategic and relevant programs for communities especially in terms of education.

“We have a high priority for education because we believe that it is what actually equalized everybody in terms of their social status and in Clark, we want everybody to get involved, come up together and plan to have more relevant and more strategic CSR,” Manankil said. (PNA)

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7 dead in Lubao, Pampanga multi-vehicle accident

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The start of the new year is bleak for the relatives of the seven people who died in a multi-vehicle accident that occurred in Lubao, Pampanga on Wednesday afternoon.

One of the fatalities, Marie Grace David, was on her way from celebrating the New Year with her 12-year-old child, who was injured.

Another fatality was identified as Rowel Flores, 32. Like David, he was on her way home from Dau where he celebrated the New Year. He left behind two children.

Linette Valite, 18, another fatality, meanwhile was on her way to meet her boyfriend.

The rest of the fatalities were identified as Princess Quinto, Alex Razheed Nilayan, John Raven Astrero, and Mary Grace Castro.

Nine others were hurt in the accident, seven of them confined at Pampanga Medical Specialist Hospital and two others at Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Footage from CCTV showed a pickup that was about to turn to the main road from Jasa Road. The passenger jeep carrying the victims, which cannot be seen in the video, collided with the pickup that was thrown toward the opposite lane where it was hit by an oncoming truck.

The passenger jeep was a total wreck.

A rescue operation was immediately implemented.

The driver of the pickup truck, 68-year-old Alexander Domingo, is facing charges for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, physical injuries and damage to properties. He is now detained at the Lubao Municipal Police Station. — Vonne Aquino/BAP/KBK, GMA News

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2020 Public Holidays

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The regular holidays are:

January 1, 2020, Wednesday – New Year’s Day
April 9, 2020, Thursday – Araw ng Kagitingan
April 9, 2020 – Maundy Thursday
April 10, 2020 – Good Friday
May 1, 2020, Friday – Labor Day
June 12, 2020, Friday – Independence Day
August 31, 2020, last Monday of August – National Heroes’ Day
November 30, 2020, Monday – Bonifacio Day
December 25, 2020, Friday – Christmas Day
December 30, 2020, Wednesday – Rizal Day

Special non-working days:

January 25, 2020, Saturday – Chinese New Year
February 25, 2020, Tuesday – EDSA Revolution Anniversary
April 11, 2020 – Black Saturday
August 21, 2020, Friday – Ninoy Aquino Day
November 1, 2020, Sunday – All Saints’ Day
December 8, 2020, Tuesday – Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
December 31, 2020, Thursday – last day of the year

Additional special non-working holidays:

November 2, 2020, Monday
December 24, 2020, Thursday

Malacañang will issue proclamations to declare national holidays for Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha after the approximate dates of the Islamic holidays have been determined.

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