Tom O: P5K for each UC-METC student

By: Morexette Erram September 09,2016 - 10:56 PM

If the Cebu City Council will allow it, each student of the University of Cebu-Maritime Education Training Center (UC-METC) Mambaling campus will be given P5,000 as payment for the inconvenience caused by the stench coming from the Inayawan sanitary landfill.

This would mean that the Cebu City government would cough up at least P35 million to give to the estimated 7,000 college students in the school’s Mambaling campus.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he was pushing for the proposal because he was concerned about the students.

“I’m worried about the students of UC Mambaling. I’m going to make a proposal that we are going to pay all the college students of UC Mambaling P5,000 each for the inconvenience,” said Osmeña.

Osmeña’s proposal came after Nuel Crucio, a UC-METC teacher, posted photos of students wearing face masks while attending classes because of the landfill’s smell reaching the school. The photos, which was posted last August 31, 2016 on Crucio’s Facebook account, made the rounds in social media.

But Osmeña’s proposal would need the City Council’s approval for it to be implemented.

In Osmeña’s cash aid for students proposal, Osmeña said the money would only be given once while the city government would work on mitigating the smell of the landfill.

Osmeña said that the money would somehow serve as a “scholarship” grant for the students.

When asked if the cash aid would only be given to UC-METC students, Osmeña said if there were other colleges nearby (UC-METC), then they would also be given the same cash-aid.

Crucio told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview that the Mambaling campus had a college student population of at least 7,000.

Crucio also said that aside from the college students, the campus also had at least 800 kindergarten students.

He also said that he was surprised by the mayor’s proposal, but he welcomed it.

“Actually, my view is that the students, ang ilang reklamo sa kabaho (their complaint regarding the smell), is not for monetary purpose. Na-disturb lang gyud sila sa baho (They are just really disturbed the foul smell). If the mayor, natandog gyud tingali, mohatag siya (If the mayor was touched and would give it), for me, that’s a welcome development,” Crucio said.

He also said that he was hoping that if the money would be given to the students, then it should be given without any condition and that the city should continue to work on improving the landfill.

But City Councilor Joel Garganera described Mayor Osmeña’s proposal as a nothing but a palliative solution to the complaints against the stench coming from the landfill.

“It’s a temporary solution. We need long-term ones that will put an end to the issues coming from the Inayawan dumpsite,” said Garganera, who heads the committee on environment.

He also said he thinks he and Osmeña have different priorities in this issue.
“I am more concerned of the health and well-being of our constituents, and he is too focused on the financial aspect of things. Giving out P5,000 to the students…does not lessen their inconvenience,” he said in a text message.

Furthermore, Garganera added that Osmeña’s proposal is “more of a reactive measure than a preventive one.”

“Moreover, this compensation does not reduce the risks to soil and water contamination that will greatly affect not only the students but all the residents and establishments surrounding the landfill,” he said.

Garganera said that they have looked into and thought about the budget needed if ever Osmeña’s plans will be pushed through.

He said the current population of UC’s campus in Barangay Mambaling is no less than 1000, which includes students, faculty and staff.

“We already have a separate annual budget of approximately P100 million for the rehabilitation of the dumpsite at Barangay Inayawan alone. If we keep giving P5000 while the core of the problem is not solved, that’s not the best solution at all,” added Garganera.

He also said that spending millions of money for “palliative solutions” in the long run is not sustainable and that the city government should focus on finding one to address the solid waste management problem of Cebu city.

“The continued operation of the landfill is not the sustainable solution to this. It needs to be rehabilitated before any unforgiving event occurs,” Garganera said.
He also raised his concerns on the economic aspect of the Inayawan landfill stench issue, citing those establishments in the nearby South Road Properties which is across the landfill.

“It (city’s economic state) is at stake if no immediate and absolute solution will be proposed. We had SRP to showcase the economic activity of Cebu City… we’re talking about billions of pesos in economic loss if we’re going to package SRP in a way that an open and operating dumpsite sits by its side,” he commented in Cebuano.

He said that Osmeña and the rest of the authorities should look for alternative sites that could be turned into landfills and dumpsites.

“Mayor Osmeña’s justification that throwing our garbage at Conscolacion is too expensive is not a solid ground to have Inayawan dumpsite reopened for operations. By all means, negotiate a better deal for the city,” he said.

He was referring to the stopping of the throwing of the city’s garbage to the Consolacion landfill, which Osmeña described as too expensive and which had cost the previous Michael Rama administration P300 million annually./USJ-R Intern Dafne Wenceslao

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TAGS: Inayawan, Inayawan landfill, Inayawan Sanitary Landfill, Mambaling, sanitary landfill, students, UC, UC Mambaling, UC-METC, University of Cebu

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