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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Cebu City to resolve its 36 violations to Inayawan landfill’s EEC

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 cited 36 violations of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill.

Former Cebu City councilor Nida Cabrera, who supervises the facility, yesterday said they are trying to resolve these.

She said the DENR was not able to monitor the violations until now even though the ECC was issued in 1998 yet.

Part of the resolution is to put enzymes on the dumped waste or to spray deodorizers to minimize the stench.

She said they’re already spraying enzymes twice a day, at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“The private sector is helping us. Even our partners in Japan are helping us in solving this problem,” Cabrera said.

Cabrera said they need limestone to cover the waste and while they have pending request for budget from the City Council, construction companies that have ongoing excavation works are donating two to five trucks of limestone a day for this purpose.

She said the Inayawan dump site must not be closed because the City Government cannot afford to pay P280,000 in tipping fee daily at the private landfill in Consolacion.

She said they would rather compost garbage in every barangay rather then dump it in Consolacion.

Cabrera said 65 percent of the waste are biological. This can be cut down to 30 to 40 percent, or equivalent to 250 to 300 metric tons of solid waste.

Proper segregation

She also said they will soon set up an air-monitoring equipment in the area. Its procurement and budget were approved when she was still a councilor.

Cabrera said they will soon operate the material recovery facilities (MRFs) in Barangays Kalunasan, Talamban and Inayawan, which were funded by the Department of Interior and Local Government.

“With MRFs, there will be properly segregated waste plus additional livelihood for the people,” she said.

When asked if a total ban on the use of plastic is possible in Cebu City like what Mandaue City is doing, Cabrera said the existing ordinance, which she authored, needs to be amended.

She said her ordinance bans the use of plastic on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

However, she said this can hardly be implemented in wet markets where paper bags are not acceptable as wrappers for meat and fish.

Meanwhile, the City’s bids and awards committee (BAC) is ready to make an emergency purchase of limestone.

That means the transaction won’t have to go through the City Council for approval or undergo the bidding process, both of which take time.

Purchase order

“We can make an emergency purchase when there is a state of emergency or calamity or when there is an imminent danger like pareha ani karon (what’s going on now). It is provided under the procurement law,” said City Administrator Jovy Morellos, vice chairperson for BAC on goods.

Morellos said BAC held an emergency meeting last Friday to discuss the matter. It came after the City Government received many complaints from different stakeholders on the stench coming from the facility.

She said BAC is just waiting for the purchase order from the Department of Public Services.

The city generates an average of 500 tons of garbage every day.

Asked if the emergency purchase still needs a declaration of a state of emergency by the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Morelos believes it is no longer necessary since there is already an “imminent danger” to the public as the landfill continues to emit foul smell.

Earlier, the executive department requested for a P10-million budget to buy the limestone but it was deferred because of the executive officials’ failure to appear before the council for an executive session.

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella yesterday said that as far as he knows, the P10 million will be used to establish a road network inside the 15.4-hectare landfill and not to cover the garbage.

Labella said what’s important and should always be considered is for the City to just follow the rule of law.
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