MMDA to apprehend Metro Manila litterbugs

09/12/2010 - MANILA, Philippines—Beginning September 16, environmental police and enforcers of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will apprehend people who indiscriminately throw their garbage in the streets of the Metro.

Litterbugs will be issued Environmental Violation Receipts (EVR), which carry corresponding fines ranging from P500 to P1,000 or a commitment to render community service for those who cannot afford to pay the fines.

Violators who do not settle their fines will not be able to get a clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation.

MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said Metro Manila mayors who comprise the Metro Manila Council, the policy-making body of the MMDA, are in favor of re-implementing the agency’s Anti-Littering Law.

The regulation, amended by MMDA Regulation Number 99-006 and approved by the MMC in 1996, prohibits littering, dumping and throwing of garbage or any kind of waste in open or public places. It also requires all business establishments, public or private, to maintain cleanliness in their frontages and immediate surroundings.

The implementation of the law was suspended in 2003 after it was overtaken by more pressing priority programs of the agency.

MMDA records show that from January 1999 to July 2002, the agency apprehended a total of 222,956 violators, 1,583 of whom rendered community service; 20,943 cases, meanwhile, have been filed in different metropolitan trial courts.

During a recent MMC meeting, Metro Manila mayors agreed to integrate the salient points of all existing anti-littering ordinances implemented by the 17 local government units comprising Metro Manila, MMDA Regulation 99-006 and Republic Act No. 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Act of the Philippines).

Among the important concerns raised were the different penalties imposed among the LGUs, an integrated health campaign, deputizing environmental enforcers and budgetary requirements.

“We will be going around the LGUs to conduct an information and education campaign for public awareness before we start our actual apprehension,” Tolentino said, emphasizing the need for active cooperation from the public.

The MMDA chair said he saw the need to revive the implementation of the anti-littering law, citing the trash indiscriminately thrown on the streets that eventually clog the waterways and result in massive floods during the rainy season. (Inquirer)

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