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Open Burning or "Pagsisiga" is Prohibited in the Philippines

What is the Philippine law that prohibits open burning?

It is Section 48 of Republic Act No. 9003, otherwise known as Solid Waste Management Act, which particularly prohibits open burning or "pagsisiga" in the Philippines.
Open Burning
Open burning photo

What is open burning?

Open burning is the burning of unwanted household materials or yard wastes where smoke and other emissions are released directly into the air. Smoke from open burning adds pollution to the air and contributes to health risks among humans.

Effects of open burning on human health

Open burning can cause nausea, difficulty in breathing, non-fatal heart attacks, and increased incidence of asthma among humans. Likewise, air pollutants derived from open burning are also the culprits of medical afflictions such as: chest pain or irregular heartbeat; coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath; decreased lung function, or permanent damage to the lungs; and development of diseases such as chronic bronchitis. The worst possible scenario is the premature death in people with heart or lung diseases.

How does open burning become harmful to the environment and to the human health?

Burning garbage releases toxic pollutants and contaminated particles directly in the air. The air contaminants released depend on the material being burned and the conditions of the fire.

For example, treated wood wastes may release arsenic, PVC plastics may release hydrogen chloride, wood painted with lead-based paints may release lead, etc. Those chemicals being released will spread in the air and harms the human health.

The ash from the waste may be contaminated with toxic chemicals such as dioxins and furans, PAH's, heavy metals, and other potentially cancer-causing substances and compounds. Some of the ash will be carried off into the atmosphere with the smoke plume, while the rest will remain behind after the fire has been extinguished.

How much is imposed on violators of this law?

Violators will be fined or charged not less than P300.00 but not more than P1,000.00.

How long will you have to stay in jail if caught with this violation?

Violators will be imprisoned not less than one day to not more than 15 days.

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"Open Burning or "Pagsisiga" is Prohibited in the Philippines" was written by under the Environment category. It has been read 37419 times and generated 25 comments. The article was created on and updated on 14 July 2011.
Total comments : 10
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Rojanie   (13 February 2019 1:14 PM) [Entry]

The penalty is very low, that is why there are many violators, second it cannot be done by a concern resident alone, it has to be with the initiative of the local government unit to make it sure that each and every waste is properly disposed off. Actually, we should be having a steward or custodian for pets, pants and biodegradable waste materials for fertilizer management team that is paid or incentified per se that is mandated by the government.

chris   (26 May 2018 7:41 AM) [Entry]

They say it is illegal but they can't do anything about it. I have reported incedents of this so many times to the police and brgy officials and even brought it to the OCENR Legazpi City but they can't do anything about it. A concerned citizen already risking his life and they wont do anything about it. Its just a waste of time here in Legazpi City complaining and there is no action taken. Just a waste of time. PWEH. BULLSHIT.....

Pedro Coronado   (13 April 2018 10:27 AM) [Entry]

Dito po sa amin sa Binangonan sa meralco village ,barangay palangoy ay ugali ng marami ang mag siga o mag sunog ng mga pinutol na damo at dahon minsan may kasama pang basura minsan ko na pong pinagsabihan ang iba pero matigas ang ulo baka lang po pag mulan ng di magandang pangyayari ayaw ko naman pong mangyari yun kasi magkakapitbahay naman kami, siguro lang po ay dapat ang magkaroon ng paalala ang pamahalaan ng binangonan o ang mga barangay para ipalala sa kanila na bawal ang ginagawa nila. Marami pong salamat.

liezel   (26 February 2018 6:52 AM) [Entry]

Our neighbor is always doing "pagsisiga" in her backyard and ang baho lagi every morning. What is the first step I should do? Should I talk to her first or reklamo ko na in our barangay? Ang baho po kase lagi pag nalalanghap ang sakit sa ilong, then may mga kasama pang plastic na sinusunog bukod sa mga dahon dahon.

Gideon Aliposa   (29 August 2015 6:50 PM) [Entry]

For all Catarmananon who does not know the law about burning thrash. This is for you!

Jacques Trecing Pauthe Alinas   (26 July 2014 8:21 PM) [Entry]

to prohibite is a good thing, but it's better to explain how to incinerate, how to built a good incinerator drum, or where to buy a good one in the Philippines...& provincia

beatriz   (27 March 2013 11:22 AM) [Entry]

Most people are ignorant of the law, R.A. 9003. Even churches, schools, government agencies practice open burning. When can this law be strictly implemented. Everywhere you can see burned yard waste materials and its just an ordinary or a common practice for everyone. What can the government do about this?

Castillejos Environmentalist   (26 January 2013 1:34 AM) [Entry]

You can email complaints & photos to the Government & nothing gets done unless you want to file a case 1st Offence is a P300 fine & that is it even if the Barangay was the peopel who illegal dumped the garbage from the Barangay Hall after collecting it. The Barangay's dumpsite burns 24/7 & very heavily at night time

John Boyd   (29 June 2012 11:29 PM) [Entry]

So if you call the police will they arrest these idiots polluting our neighborhoods?!