Seven months after he assumed office, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña finds himself resorting to palliative solutions to resolve the mounting garbage problem in the city after a court ruled against his original plan to reopen the Inayawan landfill.
The extension of the garbage hauling deal with Jomara Konstruckt may be signed anytime soon after the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) questioned the other bidder’s failure to secure certain documentary requirements such as an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for their garbage transfer station.
That’s beside the other concern involving the other bidder, Pasajero Motors Corp. (Pamocor), whose owner supposedly had political ties with the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK).
If and when Jomara does win the extension, it may or may not be required to answer what landfill or dumpsite they will eventually dump the city’s garbage into.
This development came amid a proposal by the Environmental Management Board (EMB) for Cebu’s local governments to cluster their landfills in order to solve their respective garbage problems.
Simply put, the local governments will group their landfills, taking into consideration factors like their proximity with each other, their geographical location and the individual capacities of their landfills to accommodate their garbage and others as well.
They would then negotiate with each other either through the mayors or with their chosen representatives for a deal that would allow them to either dump or accept the other’s garbage for a certain period of time, again depending on the capacities of their respective landfills.
The EMB proposal sounds good on paper, but don’t tell that to Mayor Osmeña, who would rather deal with Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III or other officials who he deems friendly and accommodating to his administration’s interests.
That said, even without the EMB’s say-so, Cebu City Hall had been negotiating with LGUs like Talisay City and Consolacion town for a deal that would allow them to dump the city’s garbage in their landfills.
Cebu City had been forced to look elsewhere when then former mayor Michael Rama closed the Inayawan landfill, and Osmeña’s reopening was the spark that set off an unnecessary chain of events leading the city back to square one in dealing with its garbage problem.
Whether it be Barangay Kalunasan whose residents opposed the idea of a landfill in their midst or Carmen town whose residents also vehemently oppose the idea of garbage fouling up their air, a shared arrangement in garbage disposal may be the foreseeable solution to managing the garbage in Metro Cebu.
In light of the Court of Appeals ruling, that’s the reality Mayor Osmeña has to deal with even as he extends yet another contract to help him get rid of the garbage while others profit from the city’s misery.
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