Bontoc folk against landfill-A A +A
Saturday, August 18, 2012
BONTOC Vice Mayor William Aspilan said solving the garbage problem in his town will take more time.
Aspilan said plans to set up a landfill in sitio Faliling have been junked amid protests from residents.
“There have been protests, they [residents] are fearful it will become like the Irisan dumpsite here,” he said.
Aspilan said the area is a three-hectare site atop a mountain and was set solely for the use of Bontoc’s garbage; however, “residents say the garbage may fall and it may also affect the water quality.”
The vice mayor said the municipality has abandoned the idea and are now focusing at the site identified at Saclit, Sadanga town but it will be shared among three areas: Bontoc, Sadanga, and nearby Tinglayan, Kalinga.
A coordinating conference is set for the three towns to talk about the purchase, as well as the growing garbage dilemma.
Bontoc has set aside P3 million for acquisition of an area to permanently dump their garbage, if the Sadanga property sale pushes through, the three areas will chip in to acquire it.
For 30 years, Aspilan said the municipality has been utilizing an area near the Chico River owned by private individuals but Aspilan said, “It is not along the river banks, [the garbage], does not flow to the river.”
Aspilan said the town has been informed of plans of Kalinga to file Writ of Kalikasan charges for the continuous dumping at the Chico River.
“Kalinga has always blamed us,” he said, but added it should not be blamed on the highland town alone.
Aspilan said there are no other options left aside from the Sadanga area to put their garbage. “The problem is the landfill, no one want to sell property if it will be used for this.”
Allegedly, the Sadanga property is also riddled with difficulty to acquire as it is owned by a family; apparently, one family member refuses to sell.
Aspilan said there is also minimal provincial help for the capital town’s dilemma. “The Provincial Government has pledged to build the road going to the acquired dump when it is purchased,” he said, adding that so far, this is the sole contribution of the Provincial Government.
Aspilan said despite the plans of Kalinga to file the environmental writ, the lines of communication are still open for continuous discussion on how to solve the problem.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 18, 2012.