26 Oct Moreno, Emano and Councilors of 17th and 18th City Council Face Charges Regarding Dumpsite Violations
To face the members of the Environmental Ombudsman in Davao City this October 26, 2016, Wednesday, are current city mayor Oscar Moreno, former city mayor Vicente Emano, and councilors of the 17th and 18th city council after being summoned by the Office of the Ombudsman to answer the charges against them regarding the violations of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
The said violation stemmed from the open dumpsite located in Upper Dagong, Zayas in Barangay Carmen. Since Moreno took office as the city mayor in 2013, this 17-hectare open dumpsite which was designed to hold 1.8 million cubic meters of garbage has been one of the crucial issues they faced. And based on the recent figures, it showed that the dumpsite currently holds at least 4 million cubic meters, twice that amount of what it was designed for.
According to one of the respondents in the case, Edwin Dael, chief of the city environment office, the city officials will demonstrate what they have done for the dumpsite since they took over in 2013. He added that he and Moreno did fight off a city council dominated by Emano’s party that denied Moreno’s budget proposal intended for the controlled closure and rehabilitation of the dumpsite and the opening of a new landfill.
“Despite the challenges, we were able to close and rehabilitate 50% of the Zayas dumpsite,” said Dael. “We are confident that with what we have done in 3 years, we will be able to defend our position. In the last administration, it was not their priority to comply with the law.”
It was in 2010 when the city government asked the assistance of the Environment Management Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) in Region 10 about a proposed new landfill project, however, Sabdullah Abubakar, Assistant Regional Director of EMB-DENR, said that the proposed landfill in Barangay Pagatpat which is a 30-hectare land was not approved. Costing P300 million, the project was said to be too expensive, and that the land was not a suitable site. Instead, the city government of former mayor Emano focused on the privatization of garbage collection in the city.
Dael said a new sanitary landfill is now pending approval, and it is located in Barangay Pagalungan. Located 17 kilometers from the city proper, it is a 25-hectare land and is estimated to accommodate 20 years amount of garbage. The sanitary landfill will be equipped with modern garbage technologies which include methane gas harvesting, leeching pipes, and among others. Scavengers will also be then banned from entering the landfill.