Cebu City garbage: Nowhere to go but SRP

By Morexette Erram |December 31,2016 - 06:49 PM
Dump trucks are on  standby near the garbage transfer station at the South Road Properties (SRP)  waiting for instruction when to remove the trash from the temporary dumping area. (CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON)

Dump trucks are on standby near the garbage transfer station at the South Road Properties (SRP) waiting for instruction when to
remove the trash from the temporary dumping area. (CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON)

It’s the New Year and the day that the South Road Properties is supposed to have been cleared of all the tons of garbage that were dumped on a one-hectare lot behind the headquarters of Cebu City’s Department of Public Services (DPS).

But the city government of Cebu has no choice but to go back to its previous arrangement of dumping the trash on SRP despite having spent an estimated P9 million to haul the garbage elsewhere.

The private hauler, Jomara Konstruckt Corporation, had only up to midnight of Dec. 31, 2016 to clear out all the garbage accumulated in the temporary transfer station located right behind the DPS building.

But regardless if they cleared the garbage stored in the entire area before their deadline is up, all barangay-owned and city-owned garbage trucks will still dump the city’s trash in the SRP transfer station starting today.

This was confirmed by DPS chief Roberto Cabarrubias who added that with the absence of an alternative transfer station, and the expiration of the contract between the city government and Jomara, City Hall “has nowhere else to dump (the garbage) but still in the SRP
transfer station.”

No alternative

Since the contract between the city government and Jomara was officially signed last Dec. 27, no alternative transfer stations were provided by both parties.

In earlier reports, the DPS officials have announced that they were tasked to locate and provide a transfer station since the private hauler was not able to identify one.

Cabarrubias told reporters on Dec. 28 that they were coordinating with Erwin Ortiz, president of EVO Ventures Inc. Group of Companies, who may be able to provide an area near the now closed Inayawan landfill to be used as a transfer station.

But as of yesterday morning, no alternative transfer station has been found, leaving all barangay-owned and city-owned garbage trucks no choice but to continue dumping the city’s trash in SRP.

Cabarrubias said Jomara had been negotiating with a private entity where it can temporarily dump the garbage that it had been taken out of SRP up to midnight of Dec. 31. But as to why Jomara decided to scout for a transfer station, Cabarrubias said he has no knowledge on the details except to surmise that “it may be just one of their means to hasten the clearing and hauling operations in SRP.”

After the New Year holiday, Cabarrubias said the city will again begin the process of finding a new hauling company that will dispose of the city’s garbage.

Up to BAC

He said Jomara is again free to offer its service and again, it’s still the discretion of the bids and awards committee (BAC) to decide if it has to go through a proper bidding process or through a negotiated contract.

“It’s up to BAC, and the mayor, on how they will award the private hauler,” stated Cabarrubias.

Jomara got the hauling deal from City Hall through a negotiated contract after Mayor Tomas Osmeña was authorized by the city council to sign an emergency purchase order for the hiring of a garbage hauler for a period of up to the end of December 2016, using the city’s P9.2 million in unspent fund.

The city government will only pay Jomara the amount of garbage it has successfully removed from SRP at a price of P1,375 per ton. The remaining and unspent money from the P9.2 million will revert to the city, Cabarrubias said.

According to Cabarrubias, they could not stop the city and barangay dump trucks from depositing the trash in SRP since it is the city’s lone transfer station. The city could not also stop collecting the garbage, especially with the higher amount of trash disposed of this holiday season, without causing hauls of protests from the city’s residents. About 500 tons of garbage is collected each day in Cebu City, rising to about 600 tons during the holidays.

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