Gwen raises Korean trash, Inayawan landfill links

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita November 21,2017 - 10:52 PM

THERE were “suspicious circumstances” that may link the shipment of 5,000 metric tons of trash from South Korea to Cebu to the closure of the Inayawan landfill.

During yesterday’s resumption of the House Ecology Committee’s inquiry on the case, Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district said there were documents dating as far back as August last year on “talks” to deliver the trash from South Korea’s Jeju port to Cebu.

The cargo ship carrying the trash left last December 7 and arrived in Cebu on January 20 this year.
The garbage instead was dumped at a private lot in Barangay Tingub, Mandaue City, drawing complaints from nearby residents.

On December last year, the Court of Appeals (CA) ordered the permanent closure of the Inayawan landfill after it was reopened by then acting mayor Margot Osmeña and upheld by her husband, Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Garcia, who called for the House inquiry on the issue, asked Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera if the arrival of the South Korean garbage to Cebu was related to the city’s insistence on using the Inayawan landfilll.

This, despite complaints by nearby residents and establishments on the stench produced by the landfill.

“It is suspicious because these are the same people who wanted it closed before. And then they wanted it reopened,” Garganera said.

“Considering the availability of landfills in Cebu, it’s only in Consolacion where you have to pay P700 per ton and in Inayawan wherein I don’t know who they will pay,” Garganera said.

A pending letter complaint from a certain Felix Lopez Jr. at the Office of the President claimed there was an “illicit transaction” to dump the mixed trash from South Korea to the Inayawan landfill.

Garganera filed a petition for a writ of kalikasan to the CA which eventually led to the landfill’s closure.

Garganera made reference to former councilor Nida Cabrera who called for the closure of the Inayawan landfill during the previous administration but then supported Mayor Osmeña’s move to reopen it.

Also present during yesterday’s hearing was Roberto Cabarrubias, chief of Cebu City Hall’s Department of Public Services (DPS) and Regional Director William Cuñado of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

Cabarrubias admitted that the commitments signed by city officials including him and Cabrera were “invalid” since they had no written authority from the mayor to make those commitments.

The committee’s report on the hearing will be taken into the House plenary for discussion following yesterday’s inquiry.

The committee headed by Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing, will collate the information gathered in the hearing for the possible filing of complaints against those involved in the issue at the Ombudsman.

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TAGS: Gwen, Inayawan, landfill, links, raises, trash

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