I. Abstract

The implementation of an effective solid waste management plan is a global dilemma. There is an endless generation of waste from man’s activity, which is practically inevitable because of industrialization. Although many groups advocate for its reduction, they will always rely on the strict implementation of laws.

Bacolod City, a highly urbanized city in the Province of Negros Occidental, generates close to 500 tons of garbage per day based on the data of the Solid Waste Management Board (SWMB).  On February 24, 2015, the National Solid Waste Management Commission approved the 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan of Bacolod City following the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (RA 9003) and its corresponding Implementing Rules and Regulations.

This study aims to review the compliance of Bacolod City Government with the key provisions of RA 9003 as guaranteed by the approved Solid Waste Management Plan. Specifically, it seeks to assess the compliance and challenges: (1) on waste collection and recycling, (2) on waste treatment and disposal, and (3) on public awareness and participation.

II. Introduction

Republic Act No. 9003, otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, has provided a clear guideline for implementing an ecological solid waste management program and the necessary institutional mechanisms for the realization of this intent. The law defines Solid Waste Management as the discipline associated with the control of generation, storage, collection, transfer and transport, processing, and disposal of solid wastes in a manner that is in accord with the best principles of public health, economics, engineering, conservation, aesthetics, and other environmental considerations, and that is also responsive to public attitudes. In the country, the responsibility for the implementation and enforcement of RA 9003 is lodged to the Local Government Units.

Bacolod City is a highly urbanized city located in the island of Negros with a total land area of 16,270 hectares. With a population of 561,875, Bacolod City has become one of the progressive metropolises in the country catering to various industries and business. This development presents a risk to the environment and demands serious action for solid waste management.

A 10-Year Solid Waste Management Plan for Bacolod City was approved last February 24, 2015. The plan aims to reduce waste generation in the city through segregation programs and information campaigns. It also seeks to implement correct solid waste handling and disposal, and proper management of sanitary landfills. The researcher aims to review and assess the development of Solid Waste Management in Bacolod City; 20 years after the approval of RA 9003 and six years into the implementation of its solid waste management plan.

III. Objectives of the Research

This study aims to review the compliance of Bacolod City Government with the key provisions of RA 9003 as guaranteed by the approved Solid Waste Management Plan. Specifically, it seeks to assess the compliance and challenges: (1) on waste collection and recycling, (2) on waste treatment and disposal, and (3) on public awareness and participation.

IV. Research Methodology

This research employed a descriptive-evaluative method in order to develop a better perception of the level of compliance of Bacolod City to the Solid Waste Management Act.

Survey questions were distributed to respondents who are residents of Bacolod City. The questions were designed to evaluate the compliance on solid waste management practices, and the awareness and level of participation of the public to the programs.

Interviews were conducted as well to develop a profounder understanding of the development of solid waste management in the city.

V. Discussion

Profile of the Respondents

Respondents are residents of the different barangays in Bacolod City; more responses were taken from barangays with larger population based on the 2015 Census by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

On Public Awareness and Participation

Figures 1 and 2 reflects the awareness of the residents about the Solid Waste Management Act and the practice of 4Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), respectively. It can be noted that majority of the respondents are familiar or have little knowledge about the law. In addition, 88 percent have heard about the waste management practice known as 4Rs.

Figure 1. Respondents’ familiarity with Solid Waste Management Act

Figure 2. Respondents’ familiarity with 4Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)

Respondents were also asked about their awareness on the existing city ordinances related to the environment. The results (Figure 3) show that Bacolod City residents are most familiar with the ordinances on the prohibition of littering and illegal dumping of garbage. However, 13 percent of the respondents are not familiar with the list of ordinances.

Figure 3. Respondents’ familiarity with City Ordinances

The survey also conveyed that schools and offices were the main venues where the respondents have learned about environmental education (Figure 4). Bacolod City Government and Barangays have also reached out to 36 percent and 41 percent of the respondents, respectively. On the other hand, 15 percent of the respondents have not joined, heard, nor read any environmental education campaign.

Figure 4. Sources of Environmental Education Campaign

On the observance of waste segregation at home (Figure 5), 63 percent of the respondents affirmed that they have a system of segregation established. Among these positive responses, 57 percent are practicing the Biodegradable-Non-biodegradable system while 43 percent comply with the Biodegradable-Recyclable-Non-biodegradable system of segregation (Figure 6).

Figure 5. Respondents’ observance of waste segregation at home

Figure 6. Type of segregation observed by respondents at home

The survey revealed that 66 percent of the respondents do not have composts at their homes (Figure 7). Regarding recyclables, only 37 percent of the respondents bring their recyclables to junkshops (Figure 8) while 56 percent have their recyclables collected at home by scrap buyers (Figure 9).

Figure 7. Respondents’ response when asked if they practice composting at home

Figure 8. Respondents’ response when asked if they bring recyclables to junkshops

Figure 9. Respondents’ response when asked if scrap buyers collect recyclables at home

Concerning the common improper practices, 35 percent of the respondents have verified their practice of backyard burning (Figure 10); 42 percent declared that they dispose special wastes together with residual wastes (Figure 11).

Figure 10. Respondents’ response when asked if they practice backyard burning

Figure 11. Respondents’ response when asked if they dispose special waste with residual waste

When asked about what they do in public places when they have trash and there is no trash bin visible (Figure 12), 52 percent of the respondents answered that they look for a trash bin, 38 percent keep it in their bags or pockets, and 10 percent throw it indiscriminately. In addition, 83 percent of the respondents follow the segregation labels found in trash bins (Figure 13).

Figure 12. Respondents’ response when asked if what do they have trash and there is no trash bin visible

Figure 13. Respondents’ response when asked if they follow segregation labels

On the personal assessment of their disposal rate (Figure 14), 31 percent of the respondents have all of their trash gathered by the garbage collector while some of the respondents have portion of their trash composted or recycled.

Figure 14. Respondents’ garbage disposal rate

On Waste Collection and Recycling

In relation to the facilities that they have in their respective barangays, 22 percent of the respondents affirmed that they have Materials Recovery Facilities (Figure 15), 23 percent acknowledged that their barangay has a composting facility (Figure 16), and 28 percent confirmed that recycling facility is existing (Figure 17).

Figure 15. Availability of materials recovery facility in barangay

Figure 16. Availability of composting facility in barangay

Figure 17. Availability of recycling facility in barangay

On the availability of trash bin in public places (Figure 18), seven percent have not seen any, 59 percent said that they see trash bins in selected areas, and 34 percent verified the frequent accessibility of trash bins. Among those who affirmed the availability of trash bins (Figure 19), 26 percent stated that these bins are all properly labelled, 67 percent said that only some are labelled, and 7 percent are of the total opposite opinion.

Figure 18. Availability of trash bin in public

Figure 19. Proper labelling of trash bins

The respondents were asked about the frequency of collection done by the local government (Figure 20). Among them, 41 percent said that it is collected twice a week and the same percentage of respondents answered that it is collected once a week; six percent responded that they have daily collection while 12 percent had it every other day. In addition, 71 percent of the respondents said that the garbage collectors do not observe the ‘No Segregation, No Collection’ policy (Figure 21) and 96 percent confirmed that the garbage collected are not weighed (Figure 22).

Figure 20. Frequency of garbage collection

Figure 21. Observance of “No segregation, no collection” policy

Figure 22. Weighing of disposed garbage

On Waste Treatment and Disposal, and its Challenges

In an interview conducted with Councilor Carl Lopez, the local legislator recognized that solid waste management is a challenge in the city. There has been no compliance with the segregation requirements and in effect this led the sanitary landfill to quickly fill up. Recycling and composting facilities are not available as well.

Councilor Lopez looks forward to having a private-public partnership on the long-term management of the solid waste collection and disposal system. This could lead to an establishment of a recycling and composting facility which will further reduce the disposal rate of residual waste. He similarly wants to incentivize segregation by having residents exchange collected recyclables with money or commodities. This would encourage people to practice segregation and comply with the law.


Bacolod City is beset with a problem on solid waste management. It is evident that people are knowledgeable about the laws and ordinances that seek to promote a balanced and healthful ecology, but they are hesitant to follow these. It is important to know the root of this reluctance to provide solutions that would effectively work.

On public awareness and participation, the local government has created avenues to remind people of the importance of segregation and solid waste management. This endeavor has been complemented by educational institutions, businesses, government agencies and non-governmental organizations. Appreciation of these environmental practices is vital in shifting the mindset of the population towards a better way of living.

From the survey, we can infer that more than half of the population are observing the practices provided by the law. However, these practices cannot be sustained if after segregation, their garbage will be mixed when collected. This system would defeat the purpose of segregation at source and discourage the people from pursuing and continuing the appropriate waste management.

On waste collection and recycling, the local government has not provided the facilities for the implementation of these law provisions. There is a significant absence of composting, recycling and materials recovery facilities in the barangays. Further, trash bins and garbage deposit areas are generally not labelled to encourage segregation.

The result of the survey likewise provides that collection of garbage is done at least once or twice a week in most areas. However, the “No segregation, no collection” campaign is a futile endeavor and people are not aware of the volume of their waste generation.

On waste treatment and disposal, the local government has a sanitary landfill but the failure in segregation has shortened the service life of the facility. Actions must be made at the core; if not, the annual excavation of new sanitary landfill will continue.

VI. Recommendations

Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations are sufficient in complying with the policy of the state  (a) to create, develop, maintain and improve conditions under which man and nature can thrive in productive and enjoyable harmony with each other, (b) to fulfill the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations of Filipinos, and (c) to insure the attainment of an environmental quality that is conducive to a life of dignity and well-being.

The local government should improve and continue its education, information, and campaign programs, and utilize social media platforms to promote the objectives of the law. In addition, it should collaborate with other local government units which are front-runners in solid waste management, and government agencies which are into developing solutions for the challenges on solid waste.

Solid waste management is not only the responsibility of the government, the citizenry must also do their part. It should be everybody’s conscious choice to segregate their garbage and avoid indiscriminate disposal. Correspondingly, there should be a genuine effort to reduce our waste generation.

Overall, the local government of Bacolod City must review the Solid Waste Management Act, revisit their stipulations in the 10-Year Solid Waste Management Plan, implement fully the local ordinances, explore new methodologies to carry out the plans, and make serious effort in providing the residents an environment that is conducive to living.

VII. Acknowledgement

Appreciation is given to Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue for the encouragement and providing the researcher with sufficient legal knowledge in conducting this research;

To Councilor Carl Lopez of Bacolod City for allowing the researcher to conduct an interview on the topic and Mr. Christjohn Villaluz for providing the requested documents;

To the friends and family of the researcher for their support from the inception up to the completion of this research; and

Most importantly, to the Almighty Creator for creating this wonderful world worth of protection and preservation.

VIII. References

(2015). Bacolod City 10-Year Solid Waste Management Plan. Bacolod City.

Cabarles, J. M. (2017, October 25). Population of Bacolod City (Based on the 2015 Census of Population). Retrieved from Philippine Statistics Authority Region VI: http://rsso06.psa.gov.ph/content/population-bacolod-city-based-2015-census-population

(2001). Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9003. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Philippine Solid Wastes at a Glance. (2017, November). Retrieved from Senate of the Philippines: http://legacy.senate.gov.ph/publications/SEPO/AAG_Philippine%20Solid%20Wastes_Nov2017.pdf

Presidential Decree No. 1151. (1977, June 6). Retrieved from Official Gazette: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1977/06/06/presidential-decree-no-1151-s-1977/

Presidential Decree No. 1152. (1977, June 6). Retrieved from Official Gazette: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1977/06/06/presidential-decree-no-1152-s-1977/

Quick Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved from Bacolod City Government: https://www.bacolodcity.gov.ph/about-bacolod/quick-facts/geophysical

Republic Act No. 9003. (n.d.). Retrieved from Official Gazette: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2001/01/26/republic-act-no-9003-s-2001/

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