City Health to send team to assess health issues caused by Binaliw landfill
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Health will send a medical team to Barangay Binaliw today, Friday, June 7, to assess the reported respiratory illnesses there because of the landfill in the area.
Dr. Alma Corpin, Cebu City Health Department head, told CDN Digital in an interview on Thursday that the medical team would check on the health of the residents in the area, who had been complaining of the foul smell from the Binaliw landfill.
Corpin said that she had heard of the residents’ complaints but none of the barangay officials or even the residents themselves went to her office to report of the respiratory illnesses spreading in the barangay.
“Wala may nireport diri sa amoa nga naa diay mga sakit-sakit nanggawas dinhang dapita. Pero kay ato naman nadunggan, amo lang sad icheck kung unsay status didto. (There were no reports from the people that certain diseases have spread. However, since we already received the news, we will check the area),” said Corpin.
An assessment of the City Health will verify if the claims of the residents to the Environment Management Bureau in Central Visayas (EMB-7) that the Binaliw landfill have indeed caused a decline in the health of the residents.
Corpin said that the City Health Department would play an important role in the assessment of projects involving the environment such as waste management projects because the health of the people near the landfill would always be at risk.
The results of the assessment will identify if the landfill is safe for the residents of the barangay.
Aside from that, Corpin also said if the residents were indeed suffering from respiratory illnesses then the City Health Department could help in treating them or giving them medicine or create a treatment plan for the ailing residents.
She also said that if it would turn out in their assessment that the landfill did indeed cause health issues in the residents then the City Health Department could send their report to the Department of Health and the EMB-7.
She said with these they could help justify to the EMB-7 that the complaints of the residents were valid and that the ARN Builders, the operator of the landfill, had to address the issue.
On Wednesday, June 5, the Protect Binaliw Movement has gathered 200 more signatures from the neighboring barangay of Pit-os as residents led by former Barangay Captain Ramil Ayuman hoped to close the landfill.
This campaign pushed the barangay council of Binaliw to send a letter to EMB-7 on May 27 to investigate the landfill’s operation since the foul smell that it had emitted was already causing respiratory illness among their constituents.
The EMB-7 responded on May 31 and called both the barangay council and the ARN Builders, the developers of the Binaliw landfill in a technical conference to resolve complaints earlier raised by residents.
EMB-7 Regional Director William Cuñado said that the landfill did not incur any serious violation that would warrant its closure or suspension of operation based on their initial investigation.
He said that what caused the foul smell was the mismanagement of the hauling operation of the garbage being delivered to the landfill.
Cuñado had called the meeting on Friday, June 7, and hoped that both parties could come up with a solution for the issue./dbs
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