Council to create a solid waste management code for Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Council plans to draft a solid waste management code that will serve as basis for future legislation and executive orders for the city government to adhere to when it comes to the collection and disposal of the garbage.
In a privilege speech, Vice Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama, has called on the council to work together in creating a code that will guide not only incumbent Mayor Edgardo Labella but all the mayors after him in making decisions regarding garbage.
Rama said that solving the garbage problems of the city would start with the proper collection and would end with the disposal in a venue that would be safe for the environment and for the nearby residents.
The vice mayor said that the regulations of the city regulating garbage was outdated as it was created 30 years ago.
“It’s concept now is past its applicability. Time has overtaken most of its detailed provisions even if some of its portions remain to be valid,” said Rama in session on Tuesday, July 23, 2019.
Rama proposed that a solid waste management code would allow the 15th Sangguniang Panglungsod to leave a legacy that would become the foundation of any legislation pertaining to the garbage of the city to give priority to the city’s environment and constituents.
The City Council has approved the motion of Vice Mayor Rama to create a solid waste management code and the committees on laws, public services, health and environment, will be leading the task of drafting it.
Meanwhile, Rama also asked the support of the Council on the decision of Mayor Labella to stop other local government units (LGUs) from throwing their garbage into the landfill in Barangay Binaliw located in the city.
The mayor recently said that he did not want the city to become a dumping site for other LGUs’ garbage, and, ideally, there should be no landfills in Cebu City because the city is a highly urbanized area.
The city is considering throwing its garbage to a landfill in Aloguinsan, which is also currently being disputed as some of the locals have requested for a writ of kalikasan on the area from the court.
The idea of the city throwing garabage to other LGUs was met with objections from the opposition councilors, who said that it would be “hypocritical” of Cebu City to throw garbage to other towns but would refuse other towns from throwing their garbage into our facilities.
Opposition Councilor Eugenio Gabuya, Jr. said in the session that this set-up would not be fair for other LGUs.
“I am just asking if it is fair that we are throwing our garbage to other LGUs, and, yet, we do not allow them to throw in Binaliw?” said Gabuya.
Administration Councilor Eduardo Rama, Jr., said that if the developers of Binaliw landfill could comply with all environmental and legal requirements in running a waste management facility, then, maybe, the city could allow LGUs to throw their garbage in Binaliw.
“We have to check these environmental laws first before other LGUs and our LGU can dump the garbage there,” said Councilor Rama.
Opposition councilors are hoping that the mayor will change his mind and will allow other LGUs to throw their garbage in the city as well.
For his part, Labella said that he was still intent in closing the Binaliw landfill without closing the entire facility.
He said that the ARN Central Waste Management, Inc., already promised to put up a waste to energy (WTE) facility in place of the landfill.
Once the WTE has been put up, Labella said he will order the closure of the landfill in order to appease the residents of the area, who complained of health hazards, and the environmentalists as well, who complained that the landfill was destroying the surrounding waterways in Binaliw. /dbs
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