Domogan stops fertilizer processing in Irisan

BAGUIO City Mayor Mauricio Domogan confirmed no more processing of biodegradable waste is being done at the former Irisan dump.

Domogan said an order was sent to the General Services Office (GSO) to immediately halt all processing of biodegradable waste to fertilizer at the dump to appease concerns by residents and Tuba folk as a reaction to complaints forwarded to the city.

The chief executive said processing is now being done in Pangasinan.

Domogan, contrary to allegations, said the city has not violated the Writ of Kalikasan and Permanent Environment Protection Order (PEPO) and the Writ of Continuing Mandamus set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as he relayed the former dump was only being utilized as a processing site for fertilizer.

A resolution by the municipality of Tuba invoking the Writ of Kalikasan filed years ago as well as strict implementation of guidelines of the environmental order was filed weeks ago supported by the Benguet Provincial Board.

In the resolution, the Tuba Municipal Council said there is a continuous dumping of waste by the city while leachate from the Environmental Recycling System (ERS) was visibly seen flowing directly to the drainage canal.

During the joint ocular inspection conducted on April 11, officials observed “bulldozing and embankment of the residual towards the 'no dumping area', there is no silting pond, the canal seems freshly cleaned but the small portion of the leachate still smells, the piggeries were being blamed but the familiar odor of pig waste is significantly different from the smell of leachate and there seem to be a blatant violation of the provisions of the Writ of Kalikasan.”

Tuba Municipal Environment and Natural Resources officer Engineer Samson Paquit said waste was dumped on site on April 11 for both biodegradable and non-biodegradable.

However, Domogan acceded to complaints of a stench explaining the biodegradable waste brought to Irisan was untreated but was quick to point out, instruction given to the GSO were clear to halt all operations.

The chief executive also said the use of the area for fertilizer processing was likewise approved by the DENR.

The Sixth Division of the Court of Appeals in 2012 granted the Writ of Kalikasan and Writ of Continuing Madamus against the Baguio City Government to cease and desist from utilizing the 5.2-hectare dumpsite after Typhoon Mina flooded the dumpsite resulting for a retaining wall to collapse and trash flowed down on the community below in 2011.

The orders came after a trashslide which killed six due to a heap of uncollected and sorted garbage amounting to over 15,000 tons at the dumpsite.

At that time, the trash slide also damaged the water hose that supplies portable water to Ballasiw, Semon and Upper Tadiangan while residents dwelling near the trash slide were found to suffer from cough, colds, bronchitis and acute gastroenteritis.


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