‘Council skirting budget issue with garbage problem’

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita November 02,2015 - 11:57 PM

NO one from the executive department will be allowed to attend the Cebu City Council’s hearings on the garbage problem, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said yesterday.

Instead, the mayor said in yesterday’s press conference that the council should act on the P2.8 billion supplemental budget now rather than delay deliberations on it indefinitely.

“That is another skirting from the issue. The Solid Waste Management Board (SWMB) can very well be invited but not in the executive session. It is a subject matter coming from the SB1 and it’s already in the property of the council,” Rama told reporters.

In last week’s session, the council scheduled an executive session on Nov. 12 and invited Rama, the SWMB, barangay officials, the Department of Public Services (DPS), the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), and the operator of the private landfill in Consolacion to discuss the city’s problems on garbage.

Rama said the council should already deliberate on the budget and decide whether they would approve it, disapprove it or slash some items from it instead of holding executive sessions on items that’s part of the SB1.

Councilor Nida Cabrera, who heads the council’s committee on environment, cited records from the DPS that showed that the city generated more than 122,000 tons of garbage as of September this year.

She said this is heavier than the 67,000 tons of garbage generated by the city last year.

Rama said he will meet with the SWMB, the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CCDRRMC) and the city’s Gubat sa Basura Group to discuss the city’s garbage situation.

Since the additional budget for tipping fees is not approved, the city is unable to award the additional contract for the tipping fees to the private landfill in Consolacion and the hiring of a private Waste Transfer Station as well as private haulers.

The Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) bloc in the council deferred deliberations on the SB1 by citing the civil case filed by former prosecutor Romulo Torres.

Torres asked the court to prevent the city from using the P8.3 billion down payment it received from the sale of the two lots in the South Road Properties (SRP) earlier this year.

The down payment is the lone source of fund for the SB1, the bulk of which is the P2.4 billion prepayment of the city’s SRP loan.

“All of this will definitely be pursued. There is no reason why the council should be cowed by any cases. Any case cannot stop any money that is already in the city’s coffers,” Rama said.

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TAGS: Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan, Cebu, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cebu City, Cebu City City Mayor Michael Rama, Cebu City Council, Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Department of Public Services, Gubat sa Basura Group, Solid Waste Management Board

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