SC affirms Writ of Kalikasan vs Inayawan landfill
THE Inayawan Sanitary Landfill in Cebu City shall remain closed.
The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed a ruling of the appellate court that ordered the permanent closure of the landfill until it is fully rehabilitated.
In a decision penned by Associate Justice Noel Tijam, the High Court said the continued operation of the Inayawan landfill “poses a serious and pressing danger” to the environment, and could result in “injurious consequences to the health and lives of nearby residents.”
“The court is convinced from the evidence on record that the respondent has sufficiently established the requirements for the grant of the privilege of the Writ of Kalikasan,” said Tijam, whose ruling was concurred by all 13 other SC justices.
Only embattled Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, who is still on leave, was not able to look into and decide on the case.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña was not available for comment as of 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
The ruling stemmed from a petition filed by Osmeña who questioned the closure of the Inayawan landfill in 2015 and the issuance of a Writ of Kalikasan by the Court of Appeals (CA).
Osmeña earlier insisted on using the Inayawan landfill, saying he did not want to go back to the private landfill in Consolacion town, which charged the city P700 per ton as tipping fee for the wastes it collected. He also said the city has no binding contract with the facility.
If forced to stop using the Inayawan landfill, Osmeña earlier threatened to dump the city’s wastes in the South Road Properties (SRP), at the Malacañang sa Sugbo or in front of City Hall’s legislative building.
In 2016, the landfill was reopened, prompting Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera to file a petition for the issuance of a Writ of Kalikasan before the CA, seeking for its closure.
A Writ of Kalikasan is sought from the court in relation to environment-related activities that threaten to damage human life and health, and cause serious damage to the environment and are of such magnitude as to involve at least two cities or municipalities.
In his petition, Garganera said the reopening and continued operation of the Inayawan landfill caused serious environmental damage, which affects residents in both the cities of Cebu and Talisay.
He attached affidavits of 15 residents from both Cebu City and Talisay City who have experienced the inconvenience of foul odor and flies that emanated from the landfill.
In October 2016, the CA granted the Writ of Kalikasan and ordered the permanent closure of the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill until it is fully rehabilitated.
It also ordered Osmeña to permanently cease and desist from dumping garbage or solid waste at the Inayawan landfill.
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