Punchline

Clock is ticking for dumpsite

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

 THE Brian Lim administration in Dagupan City should thank its stars that a compromise has been reached with PENRO’s Raymundo Gayo on the use of the already closed dumpsite.

The Lim administration may think it has come to terms with what the city is confronted with after the mayor and his supporters tried to downplay, not even denied, that the city government was issued a CDO (cease and desist order) for the continued operation of the dumpsite.

The compromise that PENRO agreed to – to allow residual wastes to be brought to the dumpsite daily – actually does not buy the city government time to enter into an agreement with another town for the construction of a sanitary landfill.

The compromise agreement the city reached with Mr. Gayo actually buys Mr. Lim time to make up his mind whether to stay with his partisan-money politics and face charges or take advantage of the deal that his predecessor made for the Waste-to-Worth project to save himself from messy legal battles.

If Mr. Lim only reads between the lines, the clock is ticking to make him realize that unless he acts decisively to honor the commitment of the city government, he will soon be charged in court on two counts: 1) For dishonoring commitment and legal contract of the city government with Sure Global Philippines for the establishment of the Waste-to-Worth project, a pioneering $15 million project.   2) For graft if the city government chooses to spend P70 million for garbage hauling over a contract with Sure Global Philippines that will not make the city government spend a single peso.

That’s what the compromise with DENR is really all about. Mr. Lim should not kid himself into believing that he can dispose of the city government’s money any way he wishes especially if the proposition is grossly disadvantageous to the city government.

What can be more disadvantageous than for him to prefer to spend P70-M instead of not spending a centavo and save P70-M for a “safe-city project”?
Worse, why would he choose to leave the dumpsite closed and leave garbage uncollected when DENR can be allowed to remain open as a concession for the start of the Waste-to-Worth project.

He will simply be asked: Why did you choose to spend when you didn’t have to??

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SPECIAL BENEFICIARY. And perhaps whether unknown to Mr. Lim or not, not a few PUNCH readers pointed to a consultant of the city government, is operating a junkyard and a piggery by the dumpsite. As reported to us, the consultant is actually the one, not the head of the city’s WMD that’s actively supervising activities at the dumpsite. The consultant gets to enjoy the advantage of collecting segregated recyclable wastes that he can sell depriving scavengers of their livelihood and collecting food scraps for his piggery. (Feeding food scraps from restaurants/fastfood outlets and homes to hogs is a complete disregard of  the Department of Agriculture’s advisory to contain ASF)

 While this situation may not be compelling reason for the negotiated compromise, it can be presented as an added factor for corruption.

 It’d be best for Mr. Lim to be more discerning in his official actions that tend show that these are meant to benefit his allies and not the city because eyes are on him and his “friends of the boss.” 

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PANGASINAN’S HEALTH PRIORITIES. While the world is glued to daily updates on the numbers of the nCov, Pangasinan has its own numbers to worry about, the numbers that national media don’t give a hoot about.

As of February 7, 1,611 hogs have been culled and the number is increasing.  And for the period January 1 to February 3 this year, three persons already died and another 564 persons had already been afflicted by acute gastroenteritis. And, 313 dengue cases have been reported.

In sharp contrast, there is not even a single case of suspected nCov in Pangasinan.

So as we keep a close watch of the novel Coronavirus in our backyard, we have kabaleyans dying and suffering from old dengue and acute gastroenteritis and our hog industry is taking a beating from the African Swine Fever in our front yard.

So don’t mind nCov, beware of dengue, AGE and ASF.

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ALL’S WELL. Finally, the San Carlos City prosecutors got its bearings right on the Espino ambush after almost 6 months. Its recommendations for the filing of charges vs. known suspects and dropping of some were finally submitted.

 For a while, because of the seeming long delay in the filing of charges after the police had submitted the case to the prosecutors, suspicions were rife that a cover-up was already in the process.  Who was protecting whom? – was uppermost in minds of those who found the long delay already unreasonable.

 But all’s well that ends well… let’s see how the prosecutors can make their case before the court.

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FAILED DRUG WAR? PDEA (not PNP) operatives recently scored big with its recent buy-bust operations in Dagupan City last February 4 in Barangay Malued in a place reportedly near, of all places, a big warehouse and in Barangay Lucao. Arrested in two separate operations were three high value targets, two of whom were foreigners.

What’s happening to the drug war in Dagupan City? Has the Dagupan police taken a “forced leave” in the drug war, leaving the initiatives to PDEA? Perhaps, the PNP is not aware of the serious implications of the continued failed drug war in the city.

Indeed, at the rate the drug peddling in the city is going, the city is not likely to be declared a drug-cleared city anytime soon.  It’s a situation that will embarrass President DU30 no end considering that Mayor Brian Lim brags of his closeness to PDU30. If Mayor Lim can’t (or won’t?) stop the drug syndicates in the city, he is giving credence to the political opposition’s claim that PDU30 is protecting drug syndicates… in Dagupan City.

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