MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has apprehended more than 100 litterbugs during the first day of the re-implementation of the Anti-Littering Law on Thursday.
The violators were fined and issued with environmental violation receipts (EVRs) at the MMDA office.
Betty Gendebe, the agency’s chief health program officer, said they conducted an operation at the Light Rail Transit (LRT) station in Caloocan City.
Gendebe said most of those apprehended were caught throwing cigarette butts and candy wrappers while others were caught spitting on the road.
Every day, the agency’s environmental enforcers will conduct operations along major thoroughfares in the metropolis.
The environmental cops will be going after litterbugs who disregard laws and ordinances against the haphazard dumping of trash, even a piece of candy wrapper.
“The MMDA has deputized environmental enforcers monitoring the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila. They are in charge of issuing environmental violation receipts,” MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said.
To ensure easy identification, the MMDA environmental enforcers will be wearing mint-green polo shirt uniform with the MMDA logo and with proper identification cards, both employee ID and deputation ID, clearly displayed, Tolentino said.
He said a “spotter” will also accompany the team to monitor possible violators of the agency’s regulations.
“It is the spotter's duty to bring the violator to the environmental enforcer for issuance of ticket. The environmental officer should tell the violator of the details of his or her violation, and the proper payment process,” the official said.
The EVR has corresponding fines ranging from P500 to P1,000 and eight to 16 hours of community service for those who cannot afford to pay the administrative fines and depending on the gravity of the offense.
Tolentino said those who feel that they were issued the EVR without any basis or in violation of the protocol may contest it within seven working days.
“If you feel your EVR was issued without any legal basis or in violation of the protocol, you may contest by going to the MMDA-HPSEPO Adjudication Office at the seventh floor of the MMDA Main Bldg. EDSA corner Orense Street in Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City to fill up the protest form indicating all relevant details regarding your complaint, within one week after the receipt of the apprehension,” he said.
Violators with unsettled records will not be able to get a clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Tolentino said the mayors who comprise the Metro Manila Council (MMC), the policy-making body of the MMDA, are all in favor of the Anti-Littering Law’s re-implementation.
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 the cleanliness of their frontages and immediate surroundings.
It also prohibits illegal posting or installed signage, billboards, posters, streamers and movie ads and similar structures.
The implementation of the law was suspended in 2003 after it was overtaken by more pressing priority programs of the agency.
MMDA records showed that from January 1999 to July 2002, the agency 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.
During the MMC meeting last week, the Metro mayors agreed to integrate the salient points of all existing anti-littering ordinances implemented by the 17 local government units (LGUs) comprising Metro Manila, MMDA Regulation 99-006, and Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Act of the Philippines).
Anna Liza Villas, Manila Bulletin