MONTHS after the Court of Appeals ordered the Cebu City Government to close the Inayawan dump site and have it rehabilitated, the Cebu City Council has approved a budget of P52.4 million for the purpose. A big bulk of that amount—P35.2 million—will be for the construction of a perimeter fence around 5 hectares of the dump site’s 15.4 hectares. The rest will be for the recovery of the 3-hectare dump site service area, rehabilitation of the causeway and for greening activities.
The discussion on the matter in the city council session last week was not without opposition from Barug Team Rama councilors (the sponsor of the rehab resolutions, City Councilor Eugenio Gabuya, is with the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan, which also has the majority in the said body). The main objection is the lack of a rehabilitation design upon which appropriations should be based.
The objection is legitimate although Gabuya’s point is to work on the 5 hectares first and then allow a service provider tapped by the city government to come up with a rehab plan for the remaining 10.4 hectares. “We have to start the rehabilitation because it has been almost a year since the landfill was ordered closed,” Gabuya explained. There you have it: the logic of the push for the approval of the P52.4-million budget.
The seeming haphazard manner the Inayawan dump site is being rehabilitated is actually a reflection of the lack of of an overall solid waste management plan by the City following the closure of the dump site. Everything is haphazard and dependent on what flits into Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s mind. Sadly, the most “creative” move, if we can call it that, hatched by the mayor is his “sardines-for-trash” project.
But then we might be expecting too much from Osmeña, who claims to be a better manager than the others who momentarily held the post of mayor in his almost three decades of ascendancy in Cebu City politics. After all, one of the biggest solid waste management projects in the city’s history—the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill--was not conceptualized by him but by the Metro Cebu Development Project II planners.