Capitol’s landfill project opposed
Kristine B. Quintas (The Freeman) - October 10, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Some residents of Carmen town have opposed the Capitol's plan to set up a provincial sanitary landfill in Barangay Dawis Sur. 

A petition signed by at least 349 residents of the said barangay was sent to Governor Hilario Davide III last month.

"Kaming mga lumulupyo sa Barangay Dawis Sur nagpakilooy, nangaliyupo ug naghangyo kanimo nga unta dili nimo ipadayon pagtukod diri sa among barangay ang sanitary landfill," read the petition.

The residents said the project would be posing threat to their health and would affect their only source of drinking water, which is located 300 meters below the proposed landfill. According to them, the area is also situated near an elementary school which might jeopardize the health of the pupils.

"Kanang lugar kun diin planong itukod ang landfill mura kana og nakawa panahon sa uwan anha magikan ang baha ug paingon kini sa maong tinubdan sa tubig ug ang baho sa landfill mopaingon jud sa eskwelahan. Kini dako og kadaot kanamong mga probreng lumolupyo sa Dawis Sur," the residents said.

 Davide, in a press statement, said the province will put up a barrier to prevent toxic substances from seeping into the underlying aquifers, rivers or other waterways.

 He explained that the proposed landfill will not only benefit Carmen but also the other towns and cities in the province.

The records of Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) show that only six out of 51 component cities and towns of Cebu have sanitary landfill. These are Talisay City and the towns of Asturias, Balamban, Consolacion, Cordova and Dalaguete.

 However, there are 33 towns and cities in the province that have submitted a 10-year solid waste management plan. These include Ronda, San Fernando, Carmen, Asturias, Daanbantayan, San Francisco, Moalboal, Oslob, Cordova, Argao and the cities of Carcar, Mandaue, Toledo, and Cebu City.

 Only 36 percent or 545 LGUs nationwide have complied with all aspects of Republic Act 9003 since its enactment 15 years ago.

The residents have also put up placards along the highway to convey their opposition to the provincial government. Among the messages; "Just say no to sanitary landfill, tinubdan sa tubig ampingan para sa kabataan, Gov. Dawis Sur tabangan dili labayanan, Gov.!!! proyekto among gikinahanglan dili basurahan."

 Davide said he understands the plight of the residents but the province is also facing problem on solid waste management, which has to be addressed soon.

 Davide explained that the province is mandated by law to comply with the provisions of the Ecological Waste Management Act.

 "Rest assured the provincial government will have to strictly comply with all the necessary requirements as mandated by law," he said.

 The law mandates LGUs to close all open dump sites and replace them with sanitary landfills as a final disposal site for solid and, eventually, residual wastes.  Among other things, the minimum criterion for the site of a sanitary landfill is that it should have an adequate quantity of earth cover material. The site should be large enough to accommodate the community's wastes for five years.

 The Capitol has set aside at least P5 million for the project. PENRO originally proposed P20 million for the landfill project but the Provincial Board slashed it to P5 million. (FREEMAN)

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