Why are Cebu City wastes back in Inayawan?

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas (The Freeman) - June 24, 2021 - 12:00am

Here we go again. Cebu City’s wastes are again in the news and back in Inayawan, not Binaliw.

Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo sought attention to the increasing volume of Cebu City garbage being disposed in Inayawan without prior notice to and consultation with barangay officials by the Department of Public Services and which will affect the health of about 5,000 to 6,000 households.

Repollo wondered why Cebu City’s wastes are suddenly no longer being disposed in Binaliw and instead diverted to the transfer station in Inayawan. He also shared unverified information that P373.63 million allocated by Cebu City may already have been spent.

Not only Repollo and the affected Inayawan residents deserve to know why the Cebu City wastes are back in their community. Other Cebu City constituents must also insist in demanding for transparency and accountability about the Cebu City waste budget and management now.

DPS head Atty. John Jigo Dacua was mentioned as the one who ordered that the Cebu City wastes be brought back to Inayawan from Binaliw reportedly because that was the procedure: All city wastes have to pass through Inayawan’s transfer station before being accepted for disposal in Binaliw.

Several questions for Atty. Dacua: If such was the standard procedure, how come it was not implemented earlier and why was this procedure suddenly revived at this time? And again, why without any prior notice to and consultation with Inayawan officials and residents?

Referring to the so-called standard procedure for all Cebu City wastes to be brought first to Inayawan transfer station before Binaliw, Lito Vasquez of Ecowatch voiced this additional valid observation and question:

“This is strange. If the waste comes from Bgry. Talamban, for example, which is just a few kilometers away from the private landfill in Binaliw, they still have to travel 20 kilometers to Inayawan so they can store the waste in the transfer station for pickup by the bigger trucks of the private garbage haulers?”

Not only will this procedure entail higher costs for the transfer of waste from barangays closer to Binaliw disposal area like Talamban, the procedure will once again burden Inayawan and residents with huge volume of dirty, smelly, polluting wastes daily!

What is the present and real status of the waste management implementation and huge budget of the present Labella administration?

Cebu City constituents should insist that the present Labella administration and his majority party review their expensive and useless collect and dispose system of waste management which clearly adversely affects the public and the environment but seems to favor those involved in approved collection/hauling/disposal contracts.

Unless people and communities are encouraged to more responsibly manage and segregate their own waste, for as long as wastes continue to be considered as useless and merely to be collected and disposed, then expect more huge budgets, more productive lands uselessly apportioned for waste, rather than for gardens, housing for the hungry and the homeless, expect more pollution and health risks for people, communities, nature and our planet.

Proper and effective waste management is very important for the health of people and communities and vital for managing climate change as well.

More importantly, responsible budget allocation and use is always urgent but most especially now in the midst of the present crisis.

With thousands upon thousands in Cebu City pushed to more hunger, homelessness, unemployment, imagine how many would have been assisted had the council-approved P405 million budget for 2021 waste collection and disposal been allocated instead for the poor?

Stop the useless, expensive, non-environment-and-people-friendly truck collection and disposal system now. Yes to participatory alternative segregated waste management schemes now.

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