Bacolod Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez said they will hold the first Environment Summit in Bacolod City early next year, during an environmental commitment and implementing meeting held at the Governor’s Hall at the Provincial Capitol yesterday.
Lopez said the meeting was to get all national agencies, sectors and local government units to come up with plans to implement environmental ordinances.
He said he has authored many of these ordinances like the Septage Management Ordinance, Clean River and Coastal Waterways Ordinance for the clean-up of river and seas and they called the Department of Interior and Local Government since it sees to it that government personnel are doing their job, he added.
Lopez said he also asked the help of the Environmental Management Board since they are in charge of water and air, and the Department of Public Works and Highways for the equipment and funding when they clean up the rivers.
So this is a collaboration of all organizations and the Ombudsman will see to it that all these environmental laws are being implemented, he said.
“We are one of the very few who have a Septage Management Ordinance in the whole of Region 6 and also the Clean River and Coastal Waterways Ordinance, which is in line with the DENR national government’s Adopt a River Program,” Lopez said.
He has set the deadline in January and they will present all these plans to the players because they need donors from the private sectors and the help of the schools to help them ensure continuity, he said.
There was a suggestion yesterday to have a common landfill area. “I feel this is a very successful event because we were able to get so many inputs from the different government agencies,” he said.
He also said he believes that February, or at the most, March would be a good time to start implementing all these things and they are thinking that maybe an environmental summit is important as what the DENR has agreed.
Lopez said they plan to host the first Environmental Summit in Bacolod City so people will be prepared and have been given the necessary information before the actual implementation of the program.
ABS-CBN has promised to help raise awareness by putting their activity on TV and also help them raise funds, he said.
As for the truck ban, Lopez said he is open to have the matter investigated and even to a joint probe with the Office of the Mayor.
He said that although C.O. 542 states that the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office may grant exemptions, they referred the request of the truckers to the Sanggunian.
There was no damage done as his request was not implemented. He admitted requesting for exemption but said that not one of them is his friend, and not one of them is member of his family, Lopez said.*CGS