CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña wants the appeals court to dismiss the writ of kalikasan it issued and set aside its decision to permanently close the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill.
He also asked the appellate court to allow the City Government to utilize the facility as a transfer station until it can find another disposal site.
If granted permission to do so, he said the transfer station will be under the supervision of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) 7.
Osmeña, through City Legal Officer Joseph Bernaldez, filed the 23-page motion for reconsideration last Tuesday before the Court of Appeals (CA).
“We answered the concerns raised by the CA. We’ve clarified that the City was not negligent in seeing to it that the operation of our then landfill will not have ill effects on the environment,” Bernaldez said in an interview yesterday.
Last Dec. 15, the CA Special 19th Division granted the writ of kalikasan and ordered Osmeña to permanently cease and desist from dumping trash at the Inayawan landfill until it is fully rehabilitated.
Penned by Associate Justice Edgardo L. Delos Santos, the 19th Division chairperson, the decision also ordered the mayor to continue the rehabilitation of the landfill.
The petition for a writ of kalikasan was filed by Councilor Joel Garganera, in behalf of the People of the Cities of Cebu and Talisay, and the future generations, including the unborn.
This came after the Department of Health issued an inspection report last Sept. 6 recommending the immediate closure of the facility due to lack of sanitary requirements, and environmental, health and community safety issues.
Osmeña, in response, said the grounds of the court ruling were not supported by evidence.
He pointed out that the 30-day prior notice required for citizen suits under the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and Comprehensive Air Pollution Act were inapplicable.
“The City Government should have been given a relatively longer period to procure for alternative means to dispose of its waste. The closure of the landfill entails the spending of huge government funds to haul waste to another site. Such funding requirement has not been anticipated and provided for under the current budget. The process can’t be done overtime,” the motion read.
In a related development, the City Council postponed the special session on the additional emergency procurement to Friday at 10 a.m.
After its first contract with the service provider expired, Osmeña asked the council to hold another special session to allow the City to conduct an emergency procurement of service for its garbage disposal.
The special session was scheduled yesterday afternoon. But because most of the city councilors are still on leave and a quorum could not be reached, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella said they had to postpone the session.
He said a legislative intervention is necessary to address the garbage problem, especially with the coming Sinulog festivities.
Osmeña, for his part, said he has no qualms with the postponement of the special session.
He said this will be the last time an emergency procurement will be made as far as the garbage problem is concerned as the next purchase will be under the supplemental budget for transparency.