Factors contributing to the success of interlocal cooperation in addressing challenges in solid waste management (SWM) were highlighted recently in a webinar organized by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). 

Engr. Enrico Medina, project development officer at the Environmental Management Bureau, noted that the Surallah, South Cotabato sanitary landfill facility (SLF) was realized and became successful because of the continued support of its political leadership. It worked because of the “pakisama” nature of the town’s local chief executive.

The Surallah SLF was one the cases featured in the PIDS study titled “Revisiting Metropolitan Governance: Improving the Delivery of Urban Services through Inter-LGU Cooperation” authored by PIDS Vice President Marife Ballesteros, Research Consultants Elmer Mercado and Amillah Rodil-Ocampo, Supervising Research Specialist Tatum Ramos, Senior Research Specialist Pauline Joy Lorenzo, and Research Specialist Jenica Ancheta.

The study explored the concept of interlocal cooperation in addressing the resource limitations of local government units in the Philippines, particularly in efficiently delivering urban services.

Medina also emphasized the importance of intensive information and education campaigns on the benefits of proper solid waste management. 

“Locals should be a priority for employment at the facility. Giving residents access to information on landfill operations, such as the results of wastewater quality tests and inspection reports of regulatory agencies should be ensured,” he said.

Additionally, he proposed having a tipping fee acceptable to both the host and member LGUs. A tipping fee is the amount of money that waste generators must pay to dispose of their waste at the facility.

“It is a good thing that [in the Surallah case] tipping fees were set at a level that was affordable to the LGUs and the member LGUs have a say in determining and regulating the tipping fees. However, acceptability should not be the only factor in determining tipping fees. Otherwise, member LGUs may insist on a very low tipping fee that may not sustain the operations of the SLF,” Medina said.

Watch the webinar at https://www.facebook.com/PIDS.PH/videos/276812655339334/ and https://youtu.be/VDI_24t0ROc?si=syPoOKGk97pHCNX3.

For more videos of PIDS events, go to https://pids.gov.ph/videos. ###

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