MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is considering the reimplementation of the Anti-Littering Law next month to address the problem of tons of garbage indiscriminately dumped into waterways and other public places.
MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino has ordered the agency’s Health, Public Safety, and Environment Protection Office to finalize the manual of operations or implementing guidelines, which will incorporate all existing anti-littering ordinances of the seventeen local government units (LGUs) of Metro Manila for more effective enforcement.
“I think there is an urgent need to re-implement this law in order to keep the metropolis clean, safe, and healthy,” Tolentino said.
MMDA Regulation Number 96-009 as amended by MMDA Regulation Number 99-006 or the Anti-Littering Law, approved by the Metro Manila Council (MMC) on August 1996, prohibits littering, dumping, and throwing of garbage or any kind of waste in open or public places.
Under the law, violators are issued an Environmental Violation Receipt (EVR), with corresponding fines ranging from P500 to P1,000 and community service for those who cannot afford to pay the administrative fines.
Violators with unsettled records will not be able to get a clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation.
From January 1999 to July 2002, MMDA apprehended a total of 222,956 violators, 1,583 of whom rendered community service, while 20,943 cases were filed in different metropolitan trial courts.
Around P12 million was collected from administrative fines paid by the violators and divided accordingly between MMDA and the concerned LGUs.
The implementation of the law was suspended in 2003 after it was overtaken by more pressing priority programs of the agency.
- By Dennis Carcamo (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)