Dumaguete City’s lack of adequate and efficient waste disposal system is a serious concern that requires immediate attention.
The open dumpsite in Barangay Candau-ay beside Banica river has been condemned by many environmental groups, and has received a Cease and Desist Order from the Department of Environment & Natural Resources for violating provisions regarding sanitary landfills inculcated in the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2001, and the Sanitation Code (Presidential Decree 856).
In lieu of this, the Jovito Salonga Center for Law & Development of Silliman University and the College of Law held a roundtable discussion on Solid Waste Management, Sanitation & Hygiene on April 25 as an initial stride to solve the sanitary landfill problems of Dumaguete and its neighbouring towns.
The group promulgated two action plans. First, that Mercy Teves, Negros Oriental Environment & Natural Resources Division chief, will serve as focal person to oversee the solid waste management project involving Dumaguete, Bacong, Valencia, Sibulan and Dauin. Together with SU Law Dean Atty. Mikhail Lee Maxino, they have been tasked to negotiate with the Mayor of Dauin for a possible landfill site. Second action plan is to request the Department of Interior & Local Government to circulate a memorandum mandating each barangay to strictly implement a system of garbage waste collection and segregation at their respective barangay level as mandated by RA 9003.
The discussion started with a briefing by Kenny Hotingoy, a freshman law student, on the mandates to local government units on solid waste management inculcated in various DENR Administrative Orders, Memorandum Circulars, Presidential Decrees, and RA 9003.
Representatives from Sibulan and Valencia shared their concerns regarding the implementation of RA 9003. A Sibulan representative said the municipality has ceased the operation of the open dumpsite in Cangmating and that all their barangays have their respective materials recovery facility (MRF). He also expressed the municipality’s interest to merge with Dumaguete in establishing a sanitary landfill.
Representatives from ENRD and SU Law shared similar sentiments that there must be a strict implementation of the ordinance, as well as the continuous information, education and consultation on solid waste management to be conducted for business establishments, the academe, barangay officials, and the communities involved.
Others present during the roundtable discussion were Lucena Amaro, Candau-ay Kagawad Alfredo Janayan; Jeffrey Dagooc, Earl Tale and Atilano Dagoy from Valencia; Atty. Mark Christofell Banquerigo, Marife Cabajon, Conception Rosales and Roy Estorco from Sibulan; Arturo Noble of Bacong; and Vice Mayor Alan Gel Cordova, Farley Villariza of Dumaguete; ENRO Rogelio Clamonte, and Felix Ablir Jr. of DILG.
The discussion was facilitated by Atty. Maxino, also chair of the Environmental Desk of the Salonga Center, assisted by Salonga Center Director Atty. Myrish Cadapan-Antonio and volunteers Gracelyn Regillano, Ingrid Tinagan, and Andrea Alviola.
The group requested the Salonga Center to spearhead another roundtable discussion with local chief executives of Dumaguete, Sibulan, Valencia, Bacong, and Dauin by May 11. (PR/SU Salonga Center)