Cebu City Council forms task group to solve Kalunasan ‘foul smell’ problems

By Delta Dyrecka Letigio |August 14,2019 - 04:23 PM

The Cebu City Jail. | CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Council will be forming a task force composed of nine members to tackle the foul smell bothering the residents of Barangay Kalunasan here. 

The council has taken upon themselves to find short-term and long-term solutions to the foul smell emanating from the drainage system of the Cebu City Jail and Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC). 

The task group is composed of the chairperson Councilor Nestor Archival, and members, Vice Mayor Michael Rama, Councilors Joel Garganera, Junjun Osmeña, Jerry Guardo, Alvin Dizon, Raymond Garcia, Eduardo Rama, Jr., and Niña Mabatid. 

Read: Cebu City dads to look into complaint over foul smell from city, provincial jails discharges

Vice Mayor Rama said the 15th Council should make legal interventions to help solve the problem in Kalunasan.

The residents of Kalunasan have repeatedly complained of the smell emanating from the septic tanks of the two jails. 

Cebu City Jail Warden Renante Rubio already reported to the city council that the human wastes from the city jail alone is already beyond the capacity of its present sewage system. 

There are more than 5,000 inmates in the City Jail, surpassing its capacity of 3,000 inmates. 

The city jail has increased the suction of its septic wastes from once a week up to three times a week. 

Read: City eyes short-term solutions for foul discharges from Kalunasan jails

Rubio said the waste from the CPDRC also contributes to the putrid smell around the barangay. 

For this reason, Archival urged the council to allot P480,000 budget for the suction of these wastes for the remaining months of the 2019.

In this way, the collection or dislodging of the wastes will be done five times a week instead of just three times. 

Archival also suggests that hoses be connected from the inner Female Dormitory of the city jail so the septic wastes can easily be collected by hauling trucks. 

The budget would also include the covering of open canals in Kalunasan to minimize the smell.

To get these budget, Archival said a state of calamity should be declared in Kalunasan so the money can be taken from the calamity fund.

He also urged Vice Mayor Rama to coordinate with Provincial Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to discuss what Cebu City and Cebu Province can do to solve the situation.

Rama said he already met with Governor Garcia to discuss short term and long term solutions to the Kalunasan problem.

He said that aside from solving the immediate problem of removing the septic wastes regularly, they discussed the long term solution, which is to decongest the jails in Kalunasan.

“We even talked about the possibility that our jails should be located outside the city and those jails in Kalunasan be converted to a drug-rehabilitation centers,” said Rama.

Rama, who presides over the City Council, said the task group would assure that the Kalunasan problem will be solved through legislation. 

He tasked Archival to provide updates on the situation in Kalunasan every two weeks and inspect if the solutions suggested by the council will be executed properly. 

The request for the P480,000 is already being reviewed by the council’s Committee on Budget. 

Rama said the council’s movements would help Mayor Edgardo Labella hasten the execution of solution for the Kalunasan problem. 

He assured the mayor that the city council is united in its bid to bring back “breathable air” to Kalunasan. /bmjo

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