Inayawan raises concerns over entry of garbage trucks from infected barangays

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Reporter/CDN Digital | April 17,2020 - 07:08 PM
garbage collectors hazard pay

City garbage collectors head to the city’s transfer station at the Inayawan landfill to dispose garbage that they collected from the barangays in this 2017 photo.
| CDN file

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Manang Nena (not her real name), 53, collects scraps for a living at the Inayawan Transfer Station, where the garbage of the entire Cebu City waits for hauling to a separate landfill.

Manang Nena told CDN Digital that she did not know what the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was or how dangerous it was. She only followed the guidelines of the enhanced community quarantine because she was afraid of getting arrested.

Even though there is a stay-at-home order, she steals time daily to look for scraps at the old Inayawan landfill or go to the transfer stations outside the landfill to collect scraps from the newly collected garbage.

She has no choice because she has to take care of herself and her grandchildren. The government and barangay’s food packs help a little, but these are simply not enough to make ends meet.

Manang Nena told CDN Digital she often sees and even touches face masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment thrown in with the garbage.

Read more: Cebu City breaches 100-mark in COVID-19 cases

With the pandemic, there has also been a noticeable increase of PPEs in the garbage. She said she did not take them because these types of trash could not be sold, but she was not aware of the danger they would pose.

“Wala ko kahibawo asa ni gikan nga basura, basta kay basura man gihapon na. (I do not know where these garbage came from, as long as they are garbage),” she said.

This is the very concern of Inayawan Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo. In his open letter to Mayor Edgardo Labella he raised the concern of garbage from all over the city still entering Inayawan regardless of where they came from.

“Garbage trucks are coming in and out of Barangay Inayawan every day, 24 hours a day. Garbage trucks had been passing major thoroughfares before entering Barangay Inayawan. We do not know whether these roads are infected or not,” said Repollo.

Read more: Barangay Luz now on lockdown; Labangon records new cases of COVID-19

Repollo appeals to the Department of Public Services (DPS) to conduct road disinfection in Inayawan because the city’s garbage transfer station is located in the barangay, and this is where all the garbage of the city are brought.

Furthermore, the trucks should also be disinfected so as to ensure that the virus is not carried with the garbage.

“So ang mahitabo ani karon, kami pa ang tigdawat sa basura, DILI SAD IMPOSSIBLE nga kami sad ang tigdawat sa virus. Hastang kaluoy sa Inayawnons.. So INAYAWAN na lang jud mi permi?” said the village chief.

(So what happens now is that we receive the garbage, it is not impossible that we also receive the virus. What a pitiful situation for the Inayawan residents. Why is it always like this for Inayawan?).

CDN Digital tried to reach Lawyer John Jigo Dacua, DPS head, but he has yet to comment on the appeal of the barangay.

Repollo suggests that the disinfection stations be set up at the entry and exit points of Inayawan to disinfect the garbage.

He said the baragay would be willing to lend a hand for this system or any system to keep the residents safe for that matter.

“(Nang)Hinaot ko Mayor nga maabot kini nimo ug mahimoag dinaliang action. Kay pait kaayo among kahimtang kada adlaw, mura mig gilawg permi sa tirong,” said Repollo.

(We hope, Mayor, that there will be a solution to this immediate problem. Our situation here every day is so difficult that it would seem that we are always fed to the lions.)/dbs

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TAGS: coronavirus, COVID-19, garbage, Inayawan, trucks

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