The worrying trash at SRP
When John (not his real name) bought his condominium unit at the South Road Properties (SRP) in 2010, he had high hopes for the area, believing that it would soon be the next big real estate destination in Cebu City.
After all, SRP was a project of the Cebu City government and a brainchild of Mayor Tomas Osmeña, whom he believed to be a visionary.
With a borrowed P3.2 million, John bought a 46 square-meter condo unit and was looking forward to living in the area, which was then envisioned to be home to another major mall, local restaurants and a string of other high-profile developments.
SRP has since become home to SM Seaside along with developments from real estate firm, Filinvest.
But six years after buying the property in the area, the 29-year-old entrepreneur, who worked long hours to pay his monthly mortgage, is now contemplating on selling his unit after learning of the city government’s move to dump garbage at SRP.
“It’s really not a welcome development in the area. First of all, SRP is not moving at a pace it was expected to be moving. When I bought the unit, I was told that everything will be in place in 2018. But we’re entering 2017 and I don’t see more positive development. Now, garbage will be dumped in the same area where SM Seaside is located? That’s disturbing,” he said.
While city hall’s Department of Public Services (DPS) has said that the use of SRP as dumpsite would only be temporary, John is taking the word “temporary” as ambiguous and unsure.
“The city may dump garbage for up to six months or even longer. By that time, the foul smell from the open dumpsite will drive people away from SRP,” he said.
John’s concern is not isolated.
In an official statement released over the weekend, the Movement for Livable Cebu (MLC) questioned the legality of the city’s decision to dump garbage at the SRP.
MLC is a non-government organization registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission composed of Cebuanos coming from different sectors.
Among its members are urban planners, heritage advocates, environmentalists, and urban poor groups.
“MLC has mixed feelings about the CA (Court of Appeals) decision and follow up actions speak of the city government… As to the use of the SRP, even if it is temporary, we question the legality because it is inappropriate, incorrect, and detrimental to the people in the area, to the business in this economic zone, and to the environment in a reclamation area,” the statement read.
The group strongly urged the mayor to “immediately look for another site.”
“It is a pity that no alternative action plans were worked on by the city executive as suggested by the proponents during the hearings while we were awaiting the CA’s final decision. Many arrangements could have been done during the one-month wait for a decision,” MLC said.
Moving forward, the group said a proper implementation plan should be put in place using as a guideline the short, medium and long-term action plans described in the “Roadmap for Waste Disposal” suggested by the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB) together with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
“After all, this (roadmap) was the result of the collective effort by 13 LGUs (local government units), 20 NGOs (non-government organizations), and 17 NGAs (non-government agencies) among other civil and business groups,” noted the MLC.
Sought for comment, the mayor’s environmental consultant, former Cebu City councilor Nida Cabrera said that the city would be tapping the services a hauling and garbage disposal company so that the trash can be dumped in other areas; however, a contract had yet to be signed.
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