A Supreme Court decision that ruled with finality on the Inayawan landfill closure should serve to spur Cebu City Hall to proceed with plans to build another landfill site rather than find ways to dispose of the city’s mounting garbage volume to another site.
Rather than taking time to gleefully needle the administration and say “I told you so,” opposition Councilors like Joel Garganera, who may or may not be chairing the City Council’s environment committee, should find viable ways to collect and store the city’s garbage.
If all they can think of is to revert back to the city’s deal with a private landfill operator in Consolacion as pursued by the previous administration, then they should build a case for it that would justify doing so. Otherwise it is a no go.
As per latest word on the Cebu City Council, a landfill development plan is in the works but Cebu City residents would have to know for certain whether this plan can pass careful evaluation by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Last time we checked, the opposition bloc barred the approval of the administration’s landfill plan only to be overruled by the new council majority who got wise to their delaying and legal maneuvering tactics.
But the points of their argument against a landfill in Barangay Binaliw are still valid; the pollution to be caused by operating an initial 1.7 hectares of landfill out of a targeted 20 hectare lot will affect Cebu City’s northern mountain barangays and a barangay in nearby Consolacion town sought a public hearing on the plan.
The proponent, ARN Builders admitted during the initial hearing on the proposed landfill project that it had zero experience in building and operating a functional landfill that will supposedly reduce garbage volume by more than 50 percent.
Again, the Supreme Court ruling with finality on the Inayawan landfill site also requires the city government to continue with its long delayed rehabilitation which also includes providing livelihood for those displaced by the closure.
In that sense, Cebu City Hall is dealing with two fronts; opening a new landfill while making sure that the old one will be developed into something that is at least habitable for existing communities there.
These are no small undertakings to be sure, but city officials owe it to their constituents to be transparent and open to evaluation of their plans to achieve these goals.
And in assessing these plans, it’s better to hear from sectors that specialize in these projects along with the DENR whose expertise will prove invaluable to the city if only its administration is willing to heed its input.
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