Thursday, August 17, 2017

Editorial Cartoon by John Gilbert Manantan

IT’S good that an official of EVO Enviro Solutions Inc., the owner of the private transfer station in Barangay Inayawan, Cebu City has aired its side about the area becoming more of a dumpsite than what it is permitted to do. In the hierarchy of blame, we now know whom to place at the top.

Alan Roy Rodriguez, EVO operations manager, pointed to the failure of the firm’s biggest client, the Cebu City Government, to collect some 11,000 tons of garbage it deposited in the transfer station since May. That’s around three months ago. Within that span, several reminders were sent to City Hall, which used as reason for the lapse the delay in the awarding of the garbage hauling contract, which was eventually given to Pasajero Motors Corp. (Pamocor).

“We understood the City’s position and relied on their commitment. Thus, for 17 days last May 2017, waste was brought to our facility by the City’s garbage trucks, but nothing was being hauled out as no hauler had yet been awarded the contract. Good thing our 7,000-square meter facility was big enough to accommodate such quantities for emergencies. This was a huge assistance we extended to the City,” he said.

Yet when Pamocor started hauling the garbage brought by the City to the transfer station to the private landfill in Consolacion, only the newly deposited ones were hauled, according to EVO. This wasn’t denied by Department of Public Services (DPS) Chief Roberto Cabarrubias. “That’s our backlog but we assure that we will haul everything,” he said.

EVO’s statement has given us a picture of the Cebu City Government’s solid waste management setup. It is one wherein a few weeks delay in the awarding of hauling contract and without the goodwill of the private transfer station’s owner a garbage crisis could already be sparked. Yet even without a “garbage crisis,” 11,000 tons of garbage staying in the private transfer station for three months is already objectionable and a violation of the law.

In the midst of all these, there seems to be no effort by the Cebu City Government in general and the DPS in particular to conceive a better solid waste management setup than the sorry one that is currently in place.

Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on August 18, 2017.

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