Community vigilance

By: Editorial February 20,2017 - 09:04 PM

toon for_21FEB2017_TUESDAY_renelevera_ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS
There is something to be said about community vigilance being key to preserving the environment as seen in two separate cases in the cities of Mandaue and Cebu recently.

In Mandaue City, residents living near a private lot in Barangay Tingub spoke out against the dumping of thousands of plastic wastes that came from South Korea, and their city government heeded their sentiments.

Even if collection of the wastes started last week for shipping back to South Korea after these were dumped in the private lot last month, it’s better late than never when pollution from the wastes would have posed serious health risks to the community.

How those wastes managed to make their way to Cebu and then dumped into a private lot no one knows, but charges are being prepared against the consignee and the lot owner who allowed use of his property without consideration of the health risks posed by the plastic wastes.

According to the Neogreen company spokesman, the wastes were intended to be converted into briquettes, a special fuel to be sold locally. The lot owner must have considered this a temporary arrangement and allowed his property to be used as a dumping ground.

Still even if this was the case, then a holding facility should have been built in the lot to accommodate those wastes so they won’t cause foul odor and pollution that had been bothering the residents there for several weeks.

Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing listened to the complaints and acted accordingly, and we hope he makes good on his promise to exact accountability from the parties responsible for this incident and to further encourage his constituents to remain vigilant against any similar intrusions in the future.

That same community vigilance can be seen in some of the residents of Barangay Sawang Calero who took to the streets anew to protest the revival of a coal plant project in their area.

Somehow the coal plant project proponents, the Ludo firm, managed to convince some Cebu City councilors to grant a variance that would allow them to build their plant in a densely populated area.

Though Councilor Jose Daluz III, who sits in the city’s zoning board, said the variance is but a small requirement and the project needs to undergo public hearings, every small measure of support counts for the proponents who are only too willing to spend to make sure it comes to pass.

Despite their assurances that the coal plant won’t pose any health risks to the community and that Cebu City and Metro Cebu need additional power to fuel their industries, the residents have every right to make their voices heard on the issue.

The coal plant project will take some time to review and opponents of the project may yet convince those councilors who support this to change their minds. Their active participation in the hearings is key to deciding whether the project will push through or not.

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TAGS: Barangay Tingub, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu City councilors, community, complaints, councilor, Editorial, environment, Jose Daluz III, Korean, Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing, Opinion, South Korea, Waste

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