MANILA -- Government plans sticking to its target of permanently closing this December Payatas sanitary landfill in Quezon City.

"That target remains so (the) Quezon City government must already commence, as soon as possible, closure and rehabilitation activities in Payatas," said Executive Director Eligio Ildefonso of National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), the agency tasked with implementing RA 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act).

He said Quezon City government must commence the activities next month or earlier so the said LGU can finish these before Payatas' permanent closure in December.

The activities can commence after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) approves the closure and rehabilitation plan of Quezon City for Payatas,Ildefonso noted.

"Such plan must specify Quezon City government's target land use for Payatas and activities for achieving this," he said.

He noted the plan must identify the intended land use as buildings can't be built atop garbage dumped in Payatas.

"Garbage is unstable," he noted.

Ildefonso said NSWMC is still awaiting the plan, which was due for submission last week, so this commission can help EMB assess it.

NSWMC will also provide inputs on how to improve the plan, he noted.

If Quezon City fails submitting its plan, Ildefonso said EMB will already specify closure and rehabilitation activities for Payatas.

He said Quezon City must undertake such activities.

"Quezon City will bear cost of undertaking such activities," he added. (PNA)