Landfill closure poses health hazard: PCCI-NL

Local News Official
Local News OfficialSunStar File Photo

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) North Luzon expressed "deep concern" about the impending closure of the Kalangitan sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac in October this year

In a statement dated June 5, 2024, the PCCI local chamber said the closure of the landfill operated by Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation (MCWMC), will pose an imminent potential hazard.

PCCI North Luzon covers regions 1 and 3, and the Cordillera Administrative Region or CAR.

"PCCI North Luzon expresses deep concern over the announced closure of Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation's sanitary landfill this October 2024. This imminent closure will pose a significant health hazard for Region, Region 3 and CAR if not handled properly," the chamber chapter stated.

PCCI North Luzon said the MCWMC sanitary landfill has been a crucial asset, as it is the facility responsible for the vast majority of waste disposal in the three regions.

"The cessation of solid waste collection will massively disrupt the daily lives and economic activities of many households and establishments to say at the least. If left without the means to safely dispose of their waste, the cities and municipalities that rely on MCWMC will suffer from a garbage crisis," it added.

The group called on concerned authorities for immediate action on the looming garbage crisis.

"We urge immediate and coordinated action to develop alternative means of waste disposal before the facility's closure and thereby avert a sanitation crisis in the areas mentioned. The urgency of this matter cannot be overstated, and we call on all concerned stakeholders to prioritize and address this impending issue with the seriousness it demands," the PCCI North Luzon said.

PCCI North Luzon is one of 123 local chambers nationwide that provide support in terms of advocacy for policy reforms, business services and networking to help build PCCI’s competitive advantage and provide feed-back to the national chamber in terms of situation on the ground and the needs of business people in the areas critical in the chamber's efforts to forward the interest of the business community nationwide.

The group joined more than 121 local government units from the Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, and the Cordillera Administrative Region which raised their concern over the landfill closure.

The Bases Conversion Development Agency (BCDA) and its subsidiary, Clark Development Corporation announced the closure of Kalangitan landfill as the MCWMC's 25-year-contract to operate the facility expires in October 2024.

“There will be no extension or renewal to be granted and that MCWMC should immediately cease its operations,” the BCDA said. "Extending the contract between Clark Development Corporation and MCWMC beyond October 2024 would be against the Build-Operate-Transfer (BoT) Law [the framework used in bidding and awarding the contract for the project], pursuant to the legal opinion of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel."

In a separate statement, the BCDA said that it "will assist local government units, government agencies and locators to explore alternative solutions for the affected stakeholders’ waste disposal requirements to ensure continuous solid waste management services.”

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