THE Cebu City Legal Office will conduct an inquiry after a photo of men throwing sacks of garbage into a vacant lot on Gen. Echavez St. circulated online.

The men reportedly work at the Zapatera Barangay Hall.

City Attorney Rey Gealon said his office will coordinate with the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office for the conduct of the investigation.

A full-blown inquiry, he said, will be recommended to the City Council if evidence warrants it. The council may exercise its investigatory and disciplinary powers over barangay officials as stated in the Local Government Unit Code, Gealon said.

Indiscriminate throwing of trash violates Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, and City Ordinances 1361 and 2031—the anti-littering measure and no segregation-no collection garbage policy, respectively.

Early July 2019, Zapatera Barangay Captain Francisco Benedicto was issued a citation ticket by the Cebu Environmental Sanitation Enforcement Team for littering within the barangay hall’s premises. Benedicto wrote on his Facebook page, explaining that the area served as a temporary material recovery facility while waiting for the City’s garbage trucks to collect the garbage.

“We pick up garbage with our own vehicle and deposit it in the facility until the big city garbage truck hauls it to the dumpsite,” Benedicto said.

With the city’s perennial problem on flooding, Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) head Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez urged residents not to throw garbage indiscriminately.

“Our water canals, rivers, drainages and even sidewalks are not trash bins,” she said.

Proper waste disposal is the only solution that will make the city’s drainage systems and natural waterways work, she said. Undisciplined residents will render the City Hall’s flood-control projects useless, said Enriquez, an engineer.

The DEPW head also encouraged every household to use basins or water drums to catch and deposit rainwater. (JJL)