Looking the other way

By: Editorial January 04,2017 - 09:52 PM


It’s no small irony to learn that Jomara Konstruckt Corp., the private hauler contracted by the Cebu City government to handle the city’s mounting garbage, is dumping the city’s refuse to the private landfill site in Barangay Polong, Consolacion town.

The admission by John Paul Gelasque, assistant chief of City Hall’s Department of Public Services (DPS), came with his clarification that it was Jomara and not the city government that made the deal with landfill operator Asian Energy Systems Corp. (AESC) to dump the garbage there.

That said, we wonder if City Hall will still continue dealing with Jomara beyond last Saturday’s end of contract after Gelasque’s admission. Maybe there is another hauler contracted by the time this piece comes out or maybe not.
At any rate, the city government should get cracking on resolving the city’s garbage problem, which is expected to worsen with the ongoing Sinulog celebration.

Owing to the urgency of the garbage problem, the city government may be forced to expedite the selection of a private hauler to temporarily collect and dispose of the city’s garbage to either Consolacion or to the other five landfills accredited by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The DENR’s lead agency in this case, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), had confirmed that Cebu City has two options that can permanently resolve its garbage problem, and either of them aren’t immediate: dumping it in another landfill site or developing its own.

Even if the DENR identified the Consolacion landfill as the most able to accommodate the city’s garbage, Osmeña’s stubborn insistence not to pay the uncollected garbage fees nor enter into a new arrangement had effectively shot down that first option.

Which leaves the city with option number two, which ideally should be the case except it would entail identifying another landfill site if there is any left, developing it and then implementing the necessary ancillary programs like complete waste segregation.

We don’t know if garbage collection and disposal ranks high in Osmeña’s priority program list, but we do know that it is one issue that would be raised against him repeatedly not just by his critics but by the public who continues to pay for his decision to challenge the closure of the Inayawan landfill by reopening it.

In the meantime, however, the Osmeña administration can perhaps confine its choice to contracting a private hauler to collect the garbage at the South Road Properties (SRP) transfer station and look the other way, relegating what is ultimately its responsibility to a private hauler who would deal with AESC or whoever is willing to accommodate the trash.

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TAGS: Consolacion, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, disposal, EMB, Environmental Management Bureau, garbage collection, John Paul Gelasque, Jomara, Jomara Konstruckt Corp, landfill, Polong, Sinulog

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