Council urged: Probe Zapatera execs for trash thrown near brgy. hall
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Legal Office has found sufficient grounds to request the Cebu City Council to investigate the officials of Barangay Zapatera for throwing collected garbage near the barangay hall premises.
Lawyer Rey Gealon said that the Zapatera officials including village chief, Francisco Benedicto, were found violating the Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, and City Ordinances 1361 or the anti-littering measure and 2031 or segregation-no collection garbage policy.
Mayor Edgardo Labella has asked the City Legal and the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) to investigate the mounds of garbage beside the Zapatera barangay hall after a video circulating online found the garbage trucks of the barangay disposing in the particular lot.
The City Legal Office, along with the Cenro, conducted an investigation over the incident and found that the barangay chiefs have indeed violated the law and ordinances.
“Finding overwhelming evidence against the Zapatera Barangay Captain, et al, the City Legal Office respectfully recommends to the Sangguniang Panglungsod the conduct of a full-blown investigation in the exercise of the August Body’s investigative and disciplinary powers under the local government code,” the City Legal Office’s recommendation to the City Council read.
Gealon said that Benedicto, representing the barangay, were already issued citation tickets for their environmental violation, in particular, the spoiling and defacing of public property.
“The officials of Barangay Zapatera seemed unperturbed by Cenro’s issuance of the citation ticket for their violation as they are relentless in their environmentally destructive ways,” he said.
In previous statements, Benedicto said that the area was, in fact, a transfer station and a material recovery facility for the barangay before the bigger garbage trucks could haul the trash to the city’s transfer stations in Barangay Inayawan.
“Material Recovery Facility (MRF). We pick up by our own vehicle and deposit it in the facility until the big city garbage truck hauls it to the dumpsite,” said Benedicto.
However, according to the regulations of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), transfer stations and MRFs should be designed in accordance with environmental standards.
The garbage cannot stay for more than 24 hours a day in the transfer station.
Gealon said that the Zapatera executives violated these environmental regulations.
He said it is now up to the City Council to investigate Benedicto and the other barangay officials for violating the city ordinances and littering in the very premises of the barangay hall.
Benedicto has yet to issue a statement on the results of the investigation./dbs
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