‘RETURN TO DUMPER’: LGUs asked to recollect dumped garbage

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By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Mayor Jilson Tubulllara of San Enrique, Negros Occidental on Wednesday ordered the “hauling back” of the garbage they dumped on a private property at Brgy. Palaka Sur in Pulupandan town as soon as possible.

Tubillara told reporters here that he and fellow Mayors Miguel Antonio Peña of Pulupandan and Enrique Miravalles of Valladolid already reached an agreement that they recover all their garbage from the site.

“Once in a while our truck dumps garbage in the area especially during bad weather,” Tubillara admitted.

The mayor said although there is no formal agreement between the land owner and the municipality, the former gave them the “thumbs up” to dump their garbage as filling materials on his property.

“It is a controlled dumpsite. After dumping garbage you also dump soil. It’s not an open dump site,” he pointed out.

Tubillara also clarified that the San Enrique municipal government did not own the truck that was caught by personnel of the Pulupandan municipal government who were inspecting the area.

It was a truck owned by the Valladolid municipal government, Tubillara said.

He also said that the municipal government is not paying anything to the landowner as it was he who “asked us to dump in his property.”

Tubillara said that San Enrique has already opened its segregation facilities with composting machines from Senator Cynthia Villar.

Earlier, Peña issued a “cease and desist” order against a property owner in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, for operating an open dumpsite that accepted garbage allegedly originating from a neighboring local government unit.

San Enrique and Valladolid towns are adjacent to Pulupandan.

During a  joint ocular inspection with Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer and concurrent Municipal Health Office Sanitary Inspector Mila Lourdes Tandoy Provincial Environment Monitoring Officer of the Environment Management Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources Shellamite Labrador, Peña said they discovered that a government-owned dump truck entered and unloaded garbage, including what appeared to be medical waste, at the property of Novo Torres on September 1 in Brgy. Palaka Sur, Pulupandan.

Prior to the inspection, Peña said they received numerous reports that dump trucks with markings of being government vehicles, entered the property loaded with garbage and left without their cargo.

He also stressed that the owner has no business permit to operate a dumpsite.

In his letter to Torres, Peña disclosed that operating an open dumpsite is a violation of Republic Act 9003, known as the Ecological Solid Waste Program.

Tandoy said their investigations showed that Torres is a contractor and supplier of the municipal government of San Enrique.

Tandoy added that garbage was being unloaded twice or thrice a week at the open dump site since December last year.

Due to the hazardous nature of the waste and garbage, Peña said he ordered the property to stop the operations of the illegal dump site, as directed in the issued CDO while investigations are ongoing.

“Due to the hazardous nature of the waste/garbage for the safety of Pulupandan residents, you are prohibited to remove the same, and your property shall be closed to the public, while we explore the proper disposal methods, which shall be charged to you,” the mayor said in his Sept. 2 letter to Torres.

Tubillara denied that they dumped hazardous or medical wastes in the area as they have no hospital in the town.

“It could be from Valladolid because they have a district hospital there,” Tubillara said.