Tuesday, October 26, 2021

City Council’s special session on garbage issue moved

GARBAGE PROBLEM. The Cebu City Council’s special session regarding the city’s garbage disposal system has been moved from June 28 to June 30, 2021. The members want the presence of representatives from the Docast General Contractor, the city’s hired private hauler; the ARN Central Management Waste Management Inc., the operator of the Binaliw landfill; and other agencies that can address their concerns on the matter. / ALAN TANGCAWAN

FAILURE to invite the proper authorities to talk about the state of garbage disposal, as well as not reaching the quorum, have caused delay for the Cebu City Council to act on the problem of garbage disposal in the city.

The Council was forced to have its special session go on recess until Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

It also was not able to reach quorum during the special session held on June 28.

Due to this, the Council has yet to discuss the status of garbage disposal in the city.

Cebu City Acting Mayor Michael Rama has requested the Council to hold a special session on June 28 to come up with solutions for the garbage disposal in the city.

The acting mayor, in his letter to the Council, wrote that if necessary, the Council can declare a state of emergency or state of calamity regarding the state of garbage disposal in the city.

On June 28 in the afternoon, the Council held a special session. However, the members of the Council were asking for the presence of resource speakers who could answer their queries and shed light on the status of garbage disposal in the city.

Cebu City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, the majority floor leader, moved to invite the representatives from the Department of Public Services (DPS), the City’s hired private hauler the Docast General Contractor, the City Treasurer’s Officer, City Accounting Office and City Budget Office to appear before the Council.

Garcia also proposed to have the matter be discussed in an executive session where the invited speakers will appear.

The executive session is done during the regular session.

However, the next regular session of the Council is still on July 7.

Cebu City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco said given the urgency of the matter, this should be tackled at the earliest possible time.

Councilor Raul Alcoseba said this problem concerns everybody and should be acted upon urgently.

Councilor Eugenio Gabuya Jr. then proposed to continue the special session on June 30 to discuss the urgent concern.

Cuenco said no other agenda should be discussed on June 30, only the garbage problem.

Other councilors also moved to invite more officials concerned on the garbage issue including the representatives from the operator of the sanitary landfill in Brgy. Binaliw, the ARN Central Waste Management Inc., members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) and from the Cebu City Health Department (CHD) to talk about the health aspect.

Some councilors raised questions and concerns which they want answered by these offices.

Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr., committee on public services chairman, wants to know the system of garbage collection and disposal being implemented in the city.

Rama said in every administration, a new system of garbage collection and disposal is implemented.

Councilor Phillip Zafra, for his part, wants to be updated on the volume of garbage being collected daily.

Zafra also wants to know the real situation at the sanitary landfill in Brgy. Binaliw, whether or not the barangays can still dispose of their garbage there.

He also wants to know the remaining budget allocated for garbage collection and disposal.

DPS head John Jigo Dacua earlier said for the year 2021, Cebu City has allotted P404 million for its garbage collection and disposal.

Zafra said the concerned individuals should prepare to answer the questions of the members of the Council.

Alcoseba said before the special session was called for, the proper authorities should have been invited first since the Council is expected to come up with solutions on the garbage problem.

“I’m surprised that there’s no resource speaker. We’ve been here, we’re here to ask questions, how come there’s no speaker?” said Alcoseba.

Alcoseba said it was a “waste of time” calling a special session and the concerned officials who could shed light on the issue were not invited.

Acting City Secretary Charisse Piramide told the members of the Council that no speakers were invited as it was not stated in the letter of the acting mayor.

Garcia had the same sentiment as Alcoseba, saying the Council has to know the facts first before declaring a state of emergency or calamity, or coming up with a solution for the issue. (JJL)


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