CEBU, Philippines — After two hours of deliberation, the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan got the approval to allot P52.4 million for the rehabilitation, closure and remediation plan of the controversial landfill in the Barangay Inayawan, Cebu City that has been shut down for eight months already.

Councilor Eugenio Gabuya Jr., who heads the committee on public services and is affiliated with the administration, authored the resolution.

The rehabilitation, remediation and closure plan for the landfill include the construction of two perimeter fences for P35.2 million; construction or rehabilitation of the South Road Properties (SRP) to the Inayawan landfill causeway for P3.4 million; work and financial plan for greening and vegetation of the landfill for P780,000; recovery of facility’s service area for P10 million and procurement of a weighbridge scale which costs P3 million.

But it took a two-hour discussion to get the resolution approved as the members of the opposition expressed their various concerns about the plan.

Councilor Jose Daluz III said it would be “unwise” for the city government to spend P52.4 million considering that the negotiated service provider, Full Advantage Philippines International Incorporated, has not yet provided the assessment of the current situation of the landfill.

“There is no closure plan yet, it was just bided out. It would be unwise to start spending the said amount for the rehabilitation of the landfill,” he said.

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Gabuya, for his part, said that the items included in the rehabilitation plan are required by the Environmental Management Bureau-7.

However, Daluz said he does not see any relation of the construction of the perimeter fence in rehabilitating the land.

“I don’t see any relation of the construction of the fence.  No fence is constructed by the time the landfill is still operational, karon nga manira nata, mangoral na nuon ta?” he said.

Councilor Eduardo Rama said he is for the construction of the fence but they need to wait for the recommendation of the negotiated service provider so that the money of the city government will be spent wisely.

In addition, Councilor Joel Garganera, who used to head the council’s committee on environment, questions why the city needs to construct a permanent and concrete perimeter fence for the landfill, knowing that the purpose of the fence is to prevent scavengers to enter the facility.

“A perimeter fence is constructed to prevent access.  These fences are frequently made up of single vertical metal bars. Putting up a concrete fence, murag sobra pa sa BBRC and CPDRC. Unsa mana manggawas ang basura?” he said.

Barug Team Rama affiliated councilors also questions the construction of the causeway knowing that it has been already constructed.

Gabuya answered that they have to construct a new one that will serve as an alternate route for the garbage trucks going to and from the private-owned landfill.

Daluz suggested to change the word into construction of a new bridge that would give access from SRP to the Inayawan landfill.

Other than this, Gabuya is favorable with the concerns of the opposition to conduct consultation with the affected fisherfolks and for the application of an Environmental Compliance Certificate.

Earlier, a number of affected fisherfolks held a protest after a causeway was constructed from SRP to the landfill.

The old causeway was constructed when the landfill was still operational that would fast track the dumping operation.

On the recovery of service area, Gabuya explained to the other members of the city council that the upcoming service provider would clear the 40,000 tons at the three-hectare service area for the installation of waste to energy (WTE) facility.

This was after the other members asked why the service area must be recovered.

Other than the WTE facility, a material recovery facility will also be put up for the reduction of waste.

In a separate interview, Daluz admitted that he couldn’t understand why the administration councilors can’t wait for the recommendation of the service provider.

“No sense ba. Ni-hire nata ug service provider unya dili ta kahuwat,” he said. —/GAN (FREEMAN)



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