Barangays need to liquidate MRF funds or face raps

By Catherine Teves

March 5, 2019, 5:51 pm

MANILA -- Villages (barangays) in the National Capital Region (NCR) will face sanctions if they fail to liquidate the funds received for the establishment of their respective materials recovery facilities (MRFs).

Liquidating the funds is among obligations of such local government units (LGUs), said Solid Waste Section head Mansueto Bolivar from Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) NCR regional office that downloads MRF funds to the region's barangays.

"If those LGUs don't liquidate, we'll write the Office of the Ombudsman and Commission on Audit about the matter," he said.

He gave such assurance as EMB-NCR targets downloading MRF funds this year to another batch of NCR barangays.

The MRF funds' 2019 recipients are some 30 barangay LGUs, including Barangay 649 which has jurisdiction over Baseco Compound in Manila's Port Area, he noted.

According to RA 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act), an MRF "includes a solid waste transfer station or sorting station, drop-off center, a composting facility, and a recycling facility."

Bolivar said since 2012, EMB-NCR has been providing barangays in Metro Manila funding and technical assistance for establishing their respective MRFs.

Around 99 barangay barangays already availed of such assistance, he continued.

"We finished writing to LGUs that haven't liquidated yet," he said.

Most of those LGUs have already started submitting their liquidation reports, he noted.

He said EMB-NCR is monitoring LGUs that have yet to liquidate the funds downloaded to them.

Providing MRF funds and technical assistance is part of EMB-NCR’s bid to further raise compliance with RA 9003, Bolivar said.

Each barangay must have an MRF to better protect the environment and public health, he noted.

Compliance with RA 9003 also supports government's efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay, he continued.

"There's already an allocation of about PHP600,000 per MRF," he said.

He said EMB-NCR will teach LGU-recipients how to establish MRFs and liquidate funds they received. "We'll also sign a memorandum of agreement with each of those recipients," he said further.

Under EMB-NCR's standard agreement on MRF assistance, audited liquidation report is among the documents an LGU-recipient must submit not later than 30 days upon completion of its MRF project.

The report will show utilization status of MRF fund downloaded to the LGU-recipient. (PNA)