CEBU City is currently facing two major concerns: the existing coronavirus pandemic and the perennial problem of garbage.
Since Aljory Waste Management Solutions/Docast, which the City hired to haul garbage, has been barred from dumping garbage at the landfill in Barangay Binaliw until it pays the P17.6 million it owes ARN Central Waste Management Inc., the facility’s operator, Docast has been dumping the garbage at the transfer station in Barangay Inawayan.
The current situation at the transfer station has forced city officials to consider placing the barangay under a state of emergency or calamity.
Acting Mayor Michael Rama, in a press conference on Saturday, June 26, 2021, said he noticed that the situation in the transfer station “is beyond comprehension” after he visited the facility.
“Piles of garbage can be found everywhere and the stench is unbearable, causing so much inconvenience and threat to the health of over 6,000 households in the area,” Rama said.
The idea of placing the barangay under a state of emergency or calamity got a thumbs up from Acting Vice Mayor Donaldo Hontiveros, who said they could create a task force to focus on the problem.
If the proposal pushes through, City Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr., committee on public services chairman, said the White Road in the barangay should be fixed first.
The councilor said the Department of Engineering and Public Works has an in-house budget for asphalting which can be used to repair the road that leads to the transfer station.
Inayawan Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo, in a separate interview, said if the barangay is to be placed under a state of emergency or calamity, all funds that will be released should be properly accounted for.
Repollo said there should be itemization and proper liquidation, among others.
“I don’t want Barangay Inayawan to be used as a possible money-making venture by anyone,” he said.
Repollo, who belongs to Bando-Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan, asked city officials to stop playing politics and to coordinate with barangay officials to solve the problem in the transfer station.
John Javier, general contractor of Docast who was present at the press conference, said they have started moving the garbage at the transfer station to a landfill in the northern town of Consolacion.
He asked city officials to give him two weeks to clear the garbage, saying he has deployed more trucks to haul the garbage to Consolacion.
Meanwhile, Javier said Docast does not owe ARN P17.6 million.
“The amount which they released as my payable, that is not true... I think they have their own personal interest,” Javier said in Cebuano.
He said he wrote out a check for P1 million, but ARN refused to accept it. He said the amount was recently audited.
Rama said the City Government and the contractor must come up with a comprehensive solution to the garbage problem.
Department of Public Services head John Jigo Dacua, for his part, said barangays can still dispose of their garbage in the landfill in Binaliw, adding the City has not received any communication from ARN barring them from the facility.
However, Dacua said the garbage barangays dump at the landfill will be charged to Docast.
Dacua said the City has an annual budget of P404 million for garbage collection and disposal. (JJL)