THE Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7 urged Cebu City officials to “show love for the environment” in solving the garbage problem that hounds the city.
Engr. William Cuñado, EMB 7 director, made the statement following a three-hour technical conference with Mayor Tomas Osmeña on the latter’s alleged defiance of the order to stop dumping garbage at the South Road Properties (SRP).
But after the technical conference, Osmeña said he will continue to dump garbage at the SRP and proposed putting up two additional transfer stations.
Osmeña told reporters that even though the Court of Appeals ordered the permanent closure of the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill and the EMB 7 issued a cease-and-desist order (CDO), the City can’t stop collecting garbage.
“It’s coming in every day. Let not say, okay stop muna the garbage, dili na mahimo, oi (that cannot be)!” Osmeña said.
He criticized the EMB 7 for issuing the CDO without providing an alternative as to where the City can dump its garbage.
But in an interview yesterday, Cuñado said it was not his agency’s fault that the temporary transfer station at the SRP was ordered closed.
“It’s not my job to provide him with an alternative. Why should I provide him with a recommendation when he didn’t submit a proposal to us in the first place?” Cuñado said.
He advised the mayor to implement the “No Segregation, No Collection” policy and establish material recovery facilities (MRFs) in every barangay to lessen the amount of garbage being collected at the household level.
He also urged the mayor to fast-track finding a service provider that will collect the garbage.
During the meeting, Osmeña raised the possibility of seeking emergency powers from the City Council to solve the problem.
He also raised the possibility of putting two new transfer stations, one near the St. Pedro Calungsod Chapel at the SRP and another at a 1,000-square-meter lot near the Inayawan landfill.
Cuñado urged the mayor to follow the law or face sanctions.
He said the City will be fined P550,000 for violating Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, and Presidential Decree 1586.
Cuñado also recommended endorsing the case to the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC).
It will be up to NSWMC to file criminal and administrative charges against Osmeña.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 24, 2016.
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