AFTER ALL, LACION
Cebu City trash still ends up in the private landfill in Consolacion, six months after Mayor Tomas Osmeña rejected its use
Six months after Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña rejected the use of the private landfill in Consolacion over alleged questionable deal between the landfill’s owner and the Rama administration, the city’s garbage still ended there, after all.
Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera received confirmation yesterday from Asian Energy Systems Corp. (AESC), the owner of the Consolacion sanitary landfill, that the city’s newly hired private hauler, Jomara Konstruckt Corporation, has brought the garbage accumulated in the temporary transfer station in the South Road Properties (SRP) to their landfill facility in Barangay Pulpogan, Consolacion last Tuesday.
Jomara Konstruckt Corporation was tasked to collect and haul the city’s garbage for 12 days starting on Dec. 27, for a contracted fee of P1,375 per ton, which, according to Garganera, turned out to be more expensive than the hauling fee paid during the term of then mayor Michael Rama that was questioned by Osmeña.
“I had a confirmation from the one in-charge in there. . . . Ang tinuod, mao lagi giingon sa storya, nga sa kataas sa prosesyon, diretso ra gihapon sa Consolacion, no? Consolacion ra gihapon. Didto nila gi-dump (The truth is, like what they say, no matter how far the procession went, it goes straight back to Consolacion. It’s still Consolacion. They dumped it there),” Garganera said.
AESC was the private hauler tasked by the Rama administration to collect the city’s trash and dump it into its landfill facility for a tipping fee of P700 per ton.
But when Mayor Tomas Osmeña took the helm of the city government last July, he reopened the Inayawan dump site on the grounds that garbage hauling deal between the city and AESC was anomalous because it was not covered by a contract and that the city paid too much in hauling fee. The mayor, likewise, refused payment for the P32 million in tipping fees that AESC was collecting from the city.
Garganera, who heads the city council’s committee on environment, said that even if the city has now ended using the Consolacion landfill again, he still would want to just watch how Osmeña would handle this situation since “they (had) just started” in solving the city’s garbage dumping problem.
“My concern is that they will stop dumping at SRP. They’re dumping it at Consolacion. No matter how far the procession, it goes straight to Consolacion. Where to anyway? There’s no other option,” he stated.
CDN tried to contact a representative from AESC but to no avail.
Before Garganera confirmed that the trash went back to Consolacion, Department of Public Services (DPS) head Roberto Cabarrubias told reporters that the trash taken out from SRP, which was used as a temporary dumpsite after the Court of Appeals ordered the Inayawan dumpsite closed, was brought by Jomera to a landfill in Compostela, a town 25.3 kilometers north of Cebu City.
As it turned out, Jomara only hauled four truckloads of garbage from SRP on Tuesday and then stopped, even as more garbage came into the SRP transfer station, dumped by trucks coming from the different barangays in the city. No hauling was likewise done the whole day yesterday by Jomara while garbage trucks from various parts of the city continue to dump their load at SRP.
Earlier on Tuesday, Osmeña questioned CDN’s story, which reported that the contracted hauler, then identified as Jomara Services, appeared to have no hauling experience, insisting that “the contractor the city government hired (with approval from the city council), has started emptying the transfer station in the SRP this morning.”
“We have a new dump site. That’s why the SRP transfer station is being cleared,” said Osmeña in a Facebook post on Tuesday morning.
The mayor did not name the new dump site but according to Cabarrubias, it was located somewhere in Compostela.
But Compostela officials yesterday clarified that the garbage was not brought to or will be allowed to be dumped in the municipality.
Compostela municipality government’s Solid Waste Management Officer Wilfredo Sinogin Jr. said there was only one landfill in the town, the privately owned Mabuhay Landfill, but it was closed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in 2015 because it was being operated as an open dumpsite.
Sinogin said there was no way the municipal government would allow the dumping of garbage in the town since even Compostela is dumping their solid waste to the AESC landfill in Consolacion.
“(AESC) is the only authorized landfill facility in the north that we know of,” he said.
Sinogin revealed that a few months after the Mabuhay Landfill in Compostela town was shut down, the Office of the Ombudsman even filed administrative charges against the previous municipal administration for allowing an open dumpsite to operate within its jurisdiction.
“They (Mabuhay Landfill) were violating the laws, we were violating the laws. The law is the law and we will not allow garbage trucks, wherever they may be, to illegally dump trash within our town’s territory. We’re even facing complaints from the Ombudsman right now. It’s absurd (they will be dumping garbage here),” he said.
Sinogin warned they will arrest anyone who enters their town’s jurisdiction to illegally dump trash.
“Since we received the news, we already alerted our officers from the Solid Waste Management Office of the municipal government as well as the other environment officers under us to be on the lookout,” he added.
Cabarrubias, when reached by phone last night, told CDN he was just relaying to the public what Jomara Konstruckt Corporation has been telling them, that it was dumping the garbage in Compostela.
“What dumpsite and where it is located, it is their (Jomara) responsibility now that the purchase order has been signed. I don’t know where they dump it as long as they do their task,” Cabarrubias said.
Cabarrubias also clarified that the hauling of trash from SRP on Tuesday was just a “dry run” by the private hauler as it waited for the arrival of 20 dump trucks and other equipment that will collect and haul the city’s garbage elsewhere.
As of last night, however, the city’s garbage was still being dumped at the SRP as Jomara has suspended the hauling after its Tuesday “dry run.”
As to who decided on hiring Jomara, BAC chairman Ronald Malacora said it was DPS, as the end user, who set the terms and guidelines on choosing the private hauler for garbage disposal.
Malacora said it was also DPS that gave the condition that the service provider must either be a landfill operator or has an existing agreement between a landfill operator accredited by DENR.
But Cabarrubias has earlier said he knew nothing about Jomara other than it is a mining company operating in Surigao province.
No other details about Jomara Konstruckt Corporation were found on the purchase order signed by Osmeña, aside from the quotation they provided to BAC.
An unnamed Jomara representative who picked up CDN’s phone call last night said their company is a sister firm of Jomara Land and Property Ventures Inc. but would not say if they have any experience in hauling garbage.
Under its contract with the city, Jomara only has until Dec. 31 to clear all garbages out of SRP.
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