Dagupan City is liable

FOR ILLEGAL DUMPING OF GARBAGE

THE Dagupan City government is liable under Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological and Solid Waste Management Act for transferring wastes extracted from the dumpsite to any other location.

This was stressed by Rodolfo de Ocampo, environmental management officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in response to the complaint of the residents of Bonuan Boquig who have gone up in arms against the dumping of extracted garbage on two private lots in their area.

De Ocampo was present during the dialogue called by Acting Mayor Belen Fernandez at city hall on Wednesday where Bonuan Boquig officials led by Barangay Chairman William Datuin came face to face with OIC Waste Management Officer Teddy Villamil.

Villamil claims a memorandum of agreement was signed between Datuin and the private property owners allowing the extraction, transporting, and dumping of garbage from the city dumpsite to the lots, supposedly for filling purposes.

Datuin and members of his council flatly denied Villamil’s earlier assertions they gave imprimatur to the dumping of extracted garbage to the lots of Pedro Gonzales, barangay chairman of adjacent Bonuan Binloc, and Beatriz Reyes.

De Ocampo said the transporting of extracted garbage as well as the dumping of the same even on private lots “need Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from our office”.

At the same time, he also made it clear that DENR does not allow one city or town to have more than one dumpsite.

In the case of barangays, he added, they are only allowed to put up one Material Recovery Facility (MRF) each.

De Ocampo has recommended that the garbage be hauled back to the dumpsite.

Fernandez has ordered Villamil to do so and even signed the prepared work program for it in the amount of P230,000.

COVERED

However, when officials of Bonuan Boquig and Fernandez visited the two lots, they found that these were already covered with sand and gravel and already leveled by a grader by the lot owners, making the retrieval of the garbage more difficult.

Gonzales has expressed opposition to any plan to dig out the garbage dumped into his lot.

In the dialogue, Villamil admitted that they transferred some more extracted garbage to other lots.

In early 2006, the Lim administration also moved tons of garbage extracted from the dumpsite to the lot of businessman George Li near a river in San Jacinto and got away with it even without any ECC from DENR.

Earlier, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office received a petition from some 700 residents of Bonuan Boquig protesting the dumping of extracted garbage to the lots of Gonzales and Reyes, which causes foul odor in the area and poses health risks.

Residents also fear contamination of their adjacent agricultural lands and fishponds.

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