Council to tackle ‘stench’ in Kalunasan next month
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - July 17, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Council has called on all affected stakeholders to an executive session on August 7 to discuss the complaint of the residents in Barangay Kalunasan over the stench from the wastewater of Cebu City Jail and Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center.

Lawyer Eugene Orbita, on behalf of the residents, wrote a letter to the council complaining the jails’ discharge of untreated stinky wastewater into the drainage affecting the community.

“These two facilities (jails) have been found to have discharged their wastes (human and whatever) at the canal that runs through Langub Shrine per findings of the City Health Department last year,” reads a portion of the letter.

Orbita said the residents are from Langub Shrine, which is located about 300 yards from the city jail and CPDRC. The City Council has invited Orbita, Kalunasan barangay officials, representatives from City Jail and CPDRC, City Health Department, City Environment and Natural Resources Office, among others to the executive session.

Orbita said the stench is being unbearable at times, saying that people attending Masses and pilgrims are “dwindling” because it is not true that “appropriate actions” were taken by the previous administration.

Councilor David Tumulak said the previous administration allotted P2 million for the rehabilitation of the wastewater facility to address the health and environmental concerns of the residents living near the jails.

He said the facility would also be utilizing a bio-digester which uses a chemical to neutralize the odor. With this, he suggested that the Bids and Awards Committee should also be invited to discuss the rehabilitation of the wastewater treatment facility of the city jail.

Orbita said at least 300 people earlier appealed before the previous administration of Cebu City, Capitol, City Jail, and CPDRC, but their complaints were not acted upon. He said the residents filed the case before the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas in September 2018 but the anti-graft office reportedly “closed” the investigation because the matter was acted upon by the previous officials.

“We pray that culverts be laid to insulate wastes or better still, proper septic management be instituted,” he added. (FREEMAN)

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