Tuesday , May 22, 2018

Villagers buck proposed sanitary landfill in Dumaguete

THE proposed sanitary landfill site at a multi-million peso property in the outskirts village of Candauay in Dumaguete City is drawing opposition from residents who cited health, safety and environmental reasons.

During the regular session of the City Council last November 29, local legislators granted Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo the authority to purchase a 3.5-hectare lot worth P18.7 million from spouses Francisco and Salvacion Divinagracia for the sanitary landfill in Candauay.

The move is in answer to repeated notices from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to shut down the city’s existing open dumpsite, also in the same barangay, as it is already outlawed.

At the same time, it also aims to address the worsening problem of garbage collection and disposal in Dumaguete, with City Hall reporting an estimated 70 to 80 tons of waste generated daily.

On December 1, residents in Barangay Camanjac, which is adjacent to Candauay, signed a three-page opposition letter addressed to Remollo, expressing their objection to the proposal.

Bulk of the proposed landfill site is situated in Candauay, while part of it is in Camanjac.

The signature campaign, backed by the Catholic Church in Camanjac headed by Fr. Sulpicio Vincoy, expressly pointed out certain parameters in the law that the residents feel must be complied with by the City Government prior to the undertaking of the sanitary landfill, said village resident Marilyn Kays, an active campaigner against the proposed landfill.

Residents in nearby Barangay Camanjac are apprehensive because the proposed site is just 100 meters away from the LCP Bloomingtown housing project and a few hundred meters from the river.

Kays clarified that they are not against the establishment of a sanitary landfill, as they understand the necessity to put up the facility to address the garbage problem of the city.

But, she added, their concerns center on basic issues like health, as the proposed site is near a populated, residential area; safety, because the site is a lagnasan or a natural course of the nearby Ocoy River; and environmental hazards, with the site vulnerable to flooding.

The signature campaign aims to get as many signatures as possible and will hopefully be forwarded to Remollo today, December 4.

Meanwhile, Loreto Revac, Provincial Environment Management Unit (Pemu) officer-in-charge of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-Negros Oriental, said on December 1 that the establishment of a sanitary landfill will take a lengthy process.

He said the first step would be for a technical team of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Central Visayas to conduct a geological suitability assessment and other processes of the area being proposed for the sanitary landfill.

This will be done in coordination with the EMB and DENR, he added.

Revac added that after the joint assessment, recommendations would be made to the regional director for review.

Other processes would include the determination of daily waste generation of the city and social acceptability of the residents/community of the proposed project, environmental impact assessment and environmental compliance certificate, among others, Revac said.

Revac also assured that a social acceptability would be conducted to determine the sentiments of the residents in the barangays and the community. (PNA)