THE Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Central Visayas served on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, a cease and desist order against RMI Solid Waste Management and Hauling Services, effectively shutting down the Inayawan waste transfer station, where a 10.8-meter-high pile of trash has accumulated.
RMI, which operates the transfer station, was given 15 days to pay a fine of P105,000 for violating conditions 2 and 3 of its environmental compliance certificate (ECC), which was issued in 2017.
A cease and desist order was also served on Wednesday to Docast Construction, directing it to stop accepting wastes and to immediately dispose of the trash it has collected at the sanitary landfill in Brgy. Binaliw, instead of bringing this to Inayawan.
All the barangays in Cebu City will also have to transport their garbage to the sanitary landfill in Brgy. Binaliw, said Department of Public Services (DPS) head John Jigo Dacua.
Dacua said he has instructed Cebu Environmental Sanitation and Enforcement Team (Ceset) head Grace Luardo to inform the barangays to dispose of their wastes directly in Binaliw.
A resolution signed by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR 7) Regional Executive Director Paquito Melicor Jr. and EMB 7 Regional Director Lormelyn Claudio said RMI failed to submit compliance monitoring reports and secure the DENR hazardous waste generator’s identification.
An ocular inspection at the Inayawan transfer station on July 5 also showed that the waste brought to the facility is stored there for more than 24 hours, essentially making the facility an open dumpsite.
This violates Section 25 of Republic Act 9003, which states that “no wastes shall be stored in such station beyond 24 hours.”
The inspection also showed that RMI failed to install roofing as well as leachate and drainage control systems. No wastewater treatment facility has also been installed.
RMI was directed to install within 15 days roofing to prevent direct exposure of wastes to rain and natural elements, and wastewater treatment facility to treat leachate.
Within the same period, RMI must also secure a discharge permit and DENR hazardous waste generator’s ID as well as dispose of all the wastes in a sanitary landfill.
Failure to comply with the order would warrant an additional fine of P50,000 per violation.
In a letter dated July 7 to Docast general contractor John Javier, DENR 7 warned that legal action would be taken if Docast fails to comply with the order.
Amid this development, Cebu City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. assured the public that the city will remain clean.
He said they will come up with specific plans to address this problem.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama described this as an “unfortunate” event.
He said the declaration of a state of emergency or state of calamity is “imminent.”
Rama said he will have the matter “seriously” discussed in Cebu City Council. (PAC, JJL)