THE La Trinidad mayor last Thursday, June 15, ordered the closure of dumpsite in Sittio Lamtang, Barangay Puguis due to the hazardous effects it posed to the people in the area.

Mayor Romeo Salda wrote a letter addressed to Mark Anthony Camillo, manager of M.A. Camillo Freight Services, stating the immediate cessation and transfer of its operation in the dumpsite.

The order came after Puguis barangay council passed a resolution anew on May 15 to reiterate the cessation of the establishment.

Puguis officials first passed the same resolution in February.

In a letter petition by Puguis, students are said to be the most affected by the open dumpsite. Students with asthma get worse to the point they transfer schools.

Residents and vehicles were also affected by the water coming from the mountain pile of garbage causing slippage and vehicular accidents.

The dumpsite served as “transfer area” of solid wastes from Baguio City, before it will be transferred to Capas, Tarlac.

Aside from being a transfer area, Camillo’s land also functioned as an open dumpsite in the municipality, which the Pine Cone Movement Inc. cited as a violation of the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1991.

The group cited Article One of the act, which states people have the “right to breathe clean air.”

Under the Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, establishment of an open dumpsite is only allowed provided that within three years of operation, every LGU shall convert its open dumps into controlled dumps and to be fully closed after five years. (Arianne Jo Julaton, UP Intern/SunStar Baguio/With SunStar Philippines)