Binaliw landfill sued at EMB-7
CEBU, Philippines — The barangay council of Binaliw, Cebu City has filed a formal complaint before the Environmental Management Bureau-7 over the operation of the 10-hectare landfill in the barangay, citing foul odor, health hazards, and other environmental concerns.
The complaint, however, does not ask that the landfill be closed.
The council headed by Daisy Ybañez filed the complaint last Monday against ARN Central Waste Management Inc., the company that runs the landfill.
The council cited five reasons why they decided to ask the EMB’s intervention: intolerable odor, reported increase of upper respiratory illness, misinterpretation of the utilization of the facility from Material Recovery Facility to sanitary landfill, and the non-issuance of the cease and desist order.
The complaint is addressed to EMB-7 regional director William Cuñado.
Ybañez and barangay councilmen Ronald Mingo, Renato Seno Sr., Edmund Biaño, and Sante Cabrera along with Sangguniang Kabataan chairman Kissy Amour Bacor signed the complaint.
Ybañez told The FREEMAN that she has received complaints from residents on the stench from the landfill since April.
“Isip barangay official, amo man gud ning responsibilidad sa katawhan, amo naman ning gipanaad og unsa’y reklamo sa mga tawo, mo-entertain gyud mi ug motabang (As barangay officials, it is our responsibility to the people to entertain their complaints and help them),” Ybañez said.
A group called Protect Binaliw Movement launched a signature campaign, which aims to stop the operation. The 400 signatures gathered were attached to the complaint filed before EMB.
Speaking on behalf of the Protect Binaliw Movement, Apas councilman Ramil Ayuman said ARN should comply with environmental laws so that untoward issues will be prevented.
“Hopefully, naa’y klaro nga compliance with the environmental laws. Ang gusto sa mga taw, ma-address na ang ilahang complaint pero ang direction gyud ipa-stop ang operation (Hopefully, there will be clear compliance of environmental laws. The people want their grievances addressed but the direction, really, is to stop the landfill’s operation),” Ayuman said.
Ayuman said they plan to raise the matter to mayor-elect Edgardo Labella once the latter assumes office next month.
Rosalinda Leogan, president of the Sta. Ana Homeowners Association, said hundreds of residents living near the landfill want the landfill closed. They started being vocal about their concerns during the election period, and even sent a letter to Labella about it.
“The health of 276 families living at Sta. Ana relocation site will be in danger if this dumping of garbage will continue. Early these days, we can smell foul odor and flies all over the area. Sta. Ana relocation is just few meters away from the dump site we need to stop this activity soon. We hope this request will be heard,” Leogan said.
The FREEMAN tried to get a statement from ARN President Sherwin Santos but he could not be reached yesterday.
Earlier, though, he told The FREEMAN that he is open to answer the complaints of the barangay council and the residents.
Santos also said the stench from the landfill is due to weeks-old trash collected by private haulers who used to dispose the garbage at the private landfill in Consolacion town. That landfill is unavailable temporarily.
ARN started to accommodate the trash from the private haulers after securing a permit from the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO) for solid waste disposal.
The landfill is capable of accepting 3,000 tons every day and based on records, about 700 tons of trash is being disposed of at the facility a day. (FREEMAN)