Kalinga readies environment writ vs Mt. Province-A A +A
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Kalinga provincial legal officer Kristian Wandag said mounting protests over pollution of the Chico River may result in filing a Writ of Kalikasan against Bontoc, Mountain Province.
Wandag said a team of lawyers and advocates is mulling on filing the environmental case against nearby Bontoc town for continuous dumping of waste along the mighty Chico River.
“This (dumping of waste) has been going on for decades and we want it to stop,” he said.
He said the Kalinga lawyers and volunteers from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the city and provincial legal officers, as well as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples are still drafting the complaint.
Wandag said affected areas on wanton dumping of garbage by Bontoc town are Tabuk City, the towns of Tinglayan, Lubuagan, Pinukpuk and reaching as far as Cagayan Valley.
The stretch of Chico River spans towns in the Mountain Province to the Tinglayan, Kalinga boundary to as far as the Kalinga-Tuao, Cagayan boundaries.
Wandag said the pollution has gotten so bad. “People usually wait for two days to catch any fish after a storm because they know the water is so dirty, it will affect their catch.”
He said pollution has poisoned aquatic resources and animals thriving in the river, while white water rafting schedules have also been altered because of the garbage dumping.
Bontoc town has reportedly made the Chico River its garbage dumping site in violation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and the Clean Water Act of 2004.
Wadang said Bontoc has nowhere else to put its garbage, but the government has been proposing a six-hectare lot in Saclit, Sadanga, Mountain Province to be the permanent dumping site.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 27, 2012.