MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has launched a P10-million data center that can provide real-time information on air and water quality as well as the status of waste management facilities nationwide.
Environment Secretary Jim Sampulna said the DENR Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Data Center, unveiled last May 18, can also provide real-time status of environmental compliance certificates (ECCs) and online permitting systems.
“(The Center) gives the public quality environmental data that brings together real-time air, water and even solid waste data from across the country that will certainly empower our citizens to make informed health choices and strengthen the DENR’s capability to take immediate action against erring establishments,” Sampulna said in a press statement.
He said that similar undertakings have been made in other DENR field offices in recent years but were “not as intensive as this one.”
Sampulna commended the EMB, as the funds for the establishment of the P10-million facility came from the savings of the bureau.
Data Center director William Cuñado said that they have pooled together in-house talents of computer programmers both from its main office and regional offices to come up with an integrated platform for the facility, which is housed in a 60-square meter room at the EMB executive building in Quezon City.
Cuñado said the aggregate and validated data on air, water, and solid waste from all EMB regional offices are housed in the data center to efficiently monitor the compliance of various industries and establishments.
The DENR, meanwhile, said the facility would strengthen the agency’s push for transparency and good governance as the platform allows for early detection of pollutive activities, pointing out that the center is equipped with a notification system which is set off once it records emission excess from a plant connected to its system.
A self-generated show cause order is sent online to the establishment, giving it 24 hours to explain why it should not face proceedings leading to a possible issuance of a notice of violation.
Other vital information stored in the data center includes online application and processing for wastewater discharge permits along with the names of applicant-firms that have been approved and denied, providing public transparency on the compliance of establishments to the DENR effluent quality standards.
The DENR said the public can also access data on the status of solid waste management facilities including the materials recovery facilities at the barangay level, as well as the 10-year solid waste management plans that have been submitted by local government units (LGUs) to the National Solid Waste Management Commission.
Also accessible from the data center are the location, status, respective capacities of operational sanitary landfills and the corresponding LGUs accommodated by these SLFs.
The EMB said its environmental monitoring officers will also upload their reports on “uncleaned or validated cleaned” sites in public areas and report the same to concerned LGUs.
Included in the center’s data are the location and testing capabilities of 22 EMB operational laboratories nationwide.
The data can be accessed at www.emb.gov.ph