Cebu News

City dads ask: Prioritize jail’s wastewater facility

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman
City dads ask: Prioritize jail�s wastewater facility
An aerial view of the Cebu City Jail facility in Barangay Kalunasan

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Council is requesting the executive department of the Cebu City Government to prioritize the construction of the Wastewater Treatment Facility at the Cebu City Jail, adding that it has already been a “long overdue project”.

This decision was agreed upon through a motion presented by Councilor Noel Wenceslao following the concern raised by Councilor Nestor Archival asking about the cause of the delays in the implementation of the project during the regular City Council session last Wednesday.

Councilor Francis Esparis, who forwarded the progress report of the project, answered that this was the reason why he forwarded the said report to the executive department; for the bidding to immediately commence.

"This is a very long-delayed project already," said Wenceslao.

"Move to request the executive department to prioritize the implementation of the construction of the wastewater treatment facility at Kalunasan," he then raised as a corollary motion.

According to Archival, the concern must be addressed immediately adding that more than 9,000 inmates will be affected. He then proposed that the bidding should not be after April 2024 to which the council has also agreed.

The discussion also came after Councilor Esparis relayed the minutes of the meeting that was convened last Feb. 1, 2024, with the Cebu City Septage Management Board. It was spearheaded by its chairman, Reymar Z. Hijara, who has recently been appointed by the Cebu City mayor to oversee the project.

It was way back in 2018 when the Office of the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources (CCENRO) received a report/complaint concerning a “persistent pungent smell emanating from the Cebu City Jail Male Dormitory”, posing health concerns for both inmates and nearby residents and environmental hazards in the area.

When the CCENRO inspected to validate the report the team immediately detected a strong smell, confirming the reported odor upon reaching the entrance.

During the same inspection, the CCENRO team observed dark-colored water leakage from the facility, the relatively small size of the septic tank inadequate for the inmate population, and the septic tank's fullness, requiring immediate suctioning due to continuous effluent flow with yellow-colored water directed to the canal and drainage system.

A jail guard said that all waste, including human waste, urine, washing and bathing water, kitchen sink runoff, and even rainwater, is directed to the septic tank, causing rapid filling and necessitating bi-weekly suctioning and desludging to address odor and septage waste concerns.

It was reported in The FREEMAN last February 19, 2024, that Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama has given the go signal for a project that is expected to solve the long-time problem of stench in the city jail, as well as the water shortage concern in the facility.

Hijara said that Mayor Rama has approved the installation of a wastewater treatment plant in the city jail. The treatment plant, according to Hijara, is a long-term solution for the awful smell that has been a long-time problem not just for those in the city jail, but also for residents in Barangay Kalunasan, especially those living around the jail. —/BRP (FREEMAN)

vuukle comment


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with