Editorial: Premature pat on the back-A A +A
Friday, September 7, 2012
THE administration of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama got a pat on the back in March last year for doing what its predecessor, that of former mayor Tomas Osmeña, failed to do: close the Inayawan dumpsite. It has now turned out that the praise was premature.
An Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7 report to Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, coursed through Councilor Nida Cabrera, chairperson of the committee on environment of the city council, showed that City Hall is guilty of ineffective garbage management system post-closure.
EMB 7 observed that the use of the Inayawan dumpsite as a transfer station for unsegregated garbage has resulted in the creation of “mini dumpsites” and an overflow of unsegregated garbage at the portion of the landfill that has no protective lining.
This shows that City Hall failed to, according to EMB 7 Director Fernando Quililan, come up with a post-closure care for the landfill. This post-closure care, as laid down by Section 1, Rule XIV of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, should be good for 15 years.
Incidentally, the mini dumpsites that EMB 7 referred to include privately owned materials recovery facilities (MRFs) that has sprouted in the area. One of these privately owned MRFs is owned by an official of Barangay Inayawan.
These finding has prompted EMB 7 to recommend “the total closure and rehabilitation of the Inayawan Landfill,” a move that it said would give “the local government of Cebu the moral authority to enjoin the adjacent junkshop/MRF operators to clean, and these mini dumpsites will eventually be removed.”
The problem there is that the EMB 7 letter was addressed to the vice mayor, who is heading a council dominated by the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) of Osmeña, the mayor’s political rival. There is therefore no assurance that the EMB 7 recommendation will be followed.
Besides, the Rama administration wants to go a separate route, which is to establish a waste-to-energy facility in the area, while passing the burden of its realization to the city council, whose imprimatur for the project is needed.
The Rama administration’s refusal to deal with the problems that have resulted from its failure to come up with a post-closure care for the Inayawan facility has been evident in the lack of effective response to the complaints of people living in the vicinity of the dumpsite.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 08, 2012.