MMDA starts deploying environmental enforcers

September 16, 2010 12:19 pm 

MANILA, Sept. 16 — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has started on Thursday deploying environmental enforcers along major thoroughfares in the metropolis as the agency re-implemented the Anti-Littering Law.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the environmental cops will be going after litterbugs who he said continue to disregard laws and ordinances against the haphazard dumping of garbage.

“The MMDA will have deputized environmental enforcers monitoring the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila. They will be in charge of issuing environmental violation receipts or EVR to persons caught violating the Anti-Littering Law,” Tolentino said adding that the team leader and an assistant team leader will have the exclusive authority to issue the EVR.

To ensure that they will be easily identified, the MMDA chief said his personnel will be wearing mint-green polo short uniform with the MMDA logo and with proper identification cards clearly visible and displayed.

To prevent violation, the team will also be assisted by a photographer and a recorder to document each apprehension made.

Tolentino 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.

Litterbugs caught will be issued with the EVR, which 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.

Violators with unsettled records will not be able to get a clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Tolentino said the Metro mayors who comprise the Metro Manila Council (MMC), the policy-making body of the MMDA, are in favor of the Anti-Littering Law’s re-implementation.

The said regulation, amended by MMDA Regulation Number 99-006, 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 enforcers will also go against dirty public utility vehicles or those without trash can or receptacle while plying their trade.

But 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 at the MMDA-HPSEPO Adjudication Office.

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 were all in agreement 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).(PNA)

LDV/CLTC

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