Garbage debate heats up

NAGA CITY—Effective February 2017, the Naga City dumpsite at Barangay Balatas will be closed after the expiration of the 10-year extension period.

This is according to Engr. Joel Martin, chief of the Naga City Solid Waste Management Office in a media interview.

The garbage issue has again taken center stage as members of the city council have started to deliberate on the P200-million budget for the new sanitary landfill.

Over the weekend, Mayor John Bongat appealed to the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to expedite the deliberation on the budget as it still remains on the table.

Bongat expressed that he has already received several reminders from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regarding the illegal operation of the open dumpsite.

The Ombudsman, on the other hand, had issued a stern warning against local officials who would not abide by Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Waste Management Act of 2000.

Earlier, Wilfredo Prilles, the City Planning and Development Officer said that until now, they have not decided on whether to recommend a three-hectare or a five-hectare sanitary landfill.

In an interview with BICOL STANDARD, City Councilor Lito del Rosario said they are focused on solving this problem because they have been receiving numerous complaints on the stench of the garbage, which is becoming a health hazard.

This is compounded by the fact that the DENR has been issuing warning regarding the open dumpsite’s closure, del Rosario said.

A major concern was raised, however, by City Councilor Julian Lavadia, Jr. regarding the wisdom of spending P200 million on the landfill, which would only last for 62 months.