Olongapo City: The local government of this city might be facing a looming garbage crisis after the after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued last week a notice of closure for its lone dumpsite located in Barangay Cabalan.
DENR region 3 served a closure order for Olongapo’s dumpsite citing a previous closure order issued in 2005.
The closure order further said that the city failed to comply with the order and cited the city for blatant disregard of the law.
DENR based its closure order from Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act prohibiting the dumping of garbage in an open dumpsite. And that a creation of a sanitary landfill shall be undertaken as a final garbage disposal method.
The DENR order was dated May 19, 2011 issued by DENR Regional Executive Director Ricardo Calderon.
Dante Ramos, head of the Olongapo City Environment Sanitation and Management Office (ESMO) said that they have no choice but to use the dumpsite temporarily despite the closure order while waiting for a loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) for the construction of a sanitary landfill for the city.
Engineer Wency Paule explained that currently the open dumpsite is being used by 60,000 to 65,000 household and business establishments in the city while some 120 tons to 150 tons of garbage is being dump on a daily basis.
The estimate according to Paule was based from the Public Utility Department electric meter count.
“We have already sent a formal reply letter to DENR Region III asking them to extend our use of the dumpsite until the release of the loan which will be next week,” Ramos told www.subictimes.com.
In a reply letter, Olongapo City Mayor James Gordon Jr. said that the city has already commenced the city landfill development project and is currently completing the documentary requirements necessary for the rehabilitation of the present dumpsite.
Ramos explained that the rehabilitation and construction of the sanitary landfill will take about 16 to 18 months and would cost an estimated P300M. He added that Olongapo loaned P300 Million for the said purpose.
“Ang totoo tayo pa lang ang sumusunod sa batas, nakapag loan na tayo sa DBM, lumabas ang Environmental Compliance Centificate (ECC), so sana pag bigyan ang city sa hiling naming,” Ramos added.
The current dumpsite according to Ramos is at around 17 hectares while the proposed sanitary landfill would be built in a 7 hectare land just near the current dumpsite in barangay Cabalan.
“We are very much eager to start the Sanitary landfill and DBP promise us (City Government) that they will release the budget two weeks from now.
As of 2007 Olongapo has a total population of 227,270.