Environmental Management Bureau-CAR through its Ambient Monitoring Section reported high Nitrate and Phosphate content in most agricultural areas in Benguet, particularly in Madaymen, Kibungan and Buguias, Benguet. This is due to the excessive and unregulated use of pesticides, insecticides, and inorganic fertilizers. The said result was based on the conducted water sampling in various water sampling stations of Upper Amburayan Water Quality Management Area (WQMA) for the first semester 2022 which was presented during its governing board meeting held on August 25, 2022 at City Lights Hotel, Baguio City.

During the meeting, Department of Agriculture – CAR Agricultural Center Chief II, Lito D. Mocati said that their department has been implementing Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) trainings to Local Government Units however, they still struggle to comply and implement the said program.

He further reiterated that company owners and suppliers of inorganic pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers are obliged to collect the containers of these chemical substances which are hazardous and toxic to prevent contamination. This is also in compliance to RA 6969 also known as “Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.”

With this, EMB-CAR and DA agreed to collaborate thru Information, and Education Campaigns and training to implement necessary measures to abate pollution.

Meanwhile, EMB-CAR Regional Director Ma. Victoria V. Abrera requested the LGUs to conduct the inventory on sources of pollution in their respective areas of responsibility and continue the monitoring of direct discharges from households. Likewise, she reminded them to look into Republic Act No. 11898, an Act Institutionalizing the Practice of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPRA) on Plastic Packaging Waste, amending Republic Act No. 9003, otherwise known as Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. The EPRA was lapsed into law on 23 July 2022, requiring large enterprises to recover up to 80% of their plastic packaging wastes. Engr. Denver Mariacos of MENRO Bakun, Ms. Julia Limpayos of MENRO Buguias, and Mr. Willier Bacuso of MENRO Kapangan presented the conducted activities on clean and green programs, recognition and commendation of volunteers who actively participate on environmental interventions, inspection of households with no septic tank, and monitoring of land conversion in their municipalities.