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New dumpsite

By: Editorial December 19,2016 - 08:16 PM


If anything, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña brought it upon himself when he reopened the Inayawan landfill despite an order from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to shut down landfills that have outlived its usefulness.

His former protégé and former mayor Michael Rama ordered the closure of the Inayawan landfill last year after he was challenged by then councilor Nida Cabrera, Osmeña’s ally in the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK), to do so.

Having failed to secure help from the City Council to negotiate for a deal for private landfill operators to receive the city’s garbage, Rama opted to negotiate with a private landfill facility in Consolacion town that eventually cost the city hundreds of millions of pesos to maintain.

Claiming that the deal with the Consolacion landfill owner was riddled with graft and was too costly, Osmeña reopened the Inayawan landfill despite knowing that it would violate the Solid Waste Management Act that requires local governments to dispose of their garbage in landfills, not dumpsites, that meet the DENR’s standards.

Fast forward to this month when the Court of Appeals upheld the petition filed by Councilor Joel Garganera to close down the Inayawan landfill, and Osmeña, true to his threat, moved with his plan to dump the city’s garbage at the South Road Properties (SRP) at the back of the Department of Public Services (DPS) building.

But the “final temporary dumping site” will be at a one-hectare site between a residential area, Filinvest’s Citi di Mare, and a commercial site, the SM Seaside City Cebu, two developers who coincidentally are the mayor’s targets for legal action: SM for allegedly failing to pay the right amount of taxes, and Filinvest for allegedly violating the law on setback of its structures.

Setting aside his beef with the two developers, Mayor Osmeña is just being his usual bull-headed self with his insistence to continue operating the Inayawan landfill, but he failed to look for an alternative site during the time when the Court of Appeals deliberated on the petition to either close or keep the landfill open.

Granted that looking for a landfill site is extremely difficult, what was the mayor’s assurance that his office was indeed looking for an alternative site in case the Court of Appeals ruled against him which is what actually happened?

What is imperative now is for the city government to look for an alternative dumping site, and by that we don’t mean the SRP, whose loan is continually being paid by the Filipino taxpayers and whose future as an investment site is being threatened by Osmeña’s legal actions against two major developers and his plans to convert a portion of it into an open dumping site.

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TAGS: Consolacion, DENR, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, dump, environment, Inayawan, Inayawan landfill, landfill, Michael Rama, Mike Rama, Rama, Tomas Osmeña, Tommy Osmeña

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