PALAYAN CITY – Residents of this city, which houses the provincial Capitol of Nueva Ecija, have expressed opposition to the contracted establishment of a landfill that will accommodate residual wastes here and adjoining areas.
A group, headed by Edwin Pineda and Tess Odulio, have asked Mayor Romeo Capinpin, to reconsider the plan saying this would negate the developments already established in the recent past, aside from the danger the landfill poses to the health of local residents.
In an open letter to Capinpin, the group cited human health as the first reason of their opposition.
“Kapalit po nito ay buhay at kaligtasan ng mas maraming mamamayan dahil sa iba’t ibang sakit na maaaring maidulot ng dumi sa kapaligiran at matinding polusyon sa hangin,” the paper which was also submitted to Fr. Jessie Salac, parish priest of the St. Cecilia Parish here stated.
The creation of the landfill in Barangay Imelda Valley here was subject of the lease agreement between the city government, represented by Capinpin and the Quezon City-based waste-to-energy company Ecosci led by its chairman Juanito Ho.
Under the agreement, the city government as the lessor will lease the facility to the lessee (Ecosci) for a 25-year period renewable for another 25 years at a cost of P700,000 per year.
However, this could be increased to P1 million per year when the daily waste disposal has reached 73 trucks per day for 30 consecutive days.
The agreement also stipulates that an expansion area of another 20 hectares will be provided for the landfill project.
Lawyer Norberto Coronel, city legal officer, said the project was “in compliance” with the provisions of Republic Act 9003. Besides generating taxes, he said, the landfill would also help other local government units who have yet to establish their own waste disposal facilities.
Ecosci will start excavation in October. The first phase cost some P30-million, documents showed.
“Take note that the facility will accommodate only residual wastes,” he said, saying no hazardous materials will be allowed.
But the residents said they don’t find the project bringing any progress to the community but will instead be counterproductive.
Pineda said their group continue to discuss everything about this stand. “We are still working on it,” he said.
Coronel said the landfill project is necessary as the city government already shut down its open dumpsite in Barangay Atate.
He admitted that the city now has no available disposal facility following the closure of the Atate dumpsite.
Pineda’s group also fears that the landfill would cater to Metro Manila garbage.
“Ang laksa-laksang basura na kung saan kinapapalooban ng maraming non-biodegradable waste materials mula sa industriyalisadong Kamaynilaan ay itatambak at itatapon sa ating lugar na maaring kumalat at mapunta sa mga ilog at kapaligiran,” they said.