No haste in implementing Sanitary Landfill — Celso PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 July 2015 14:57

by JUBELS SANTOS

 

The City Government did not hastily act to establish the Sanitary Landfill (SLF) in Barangay Salaan, this city.

Extensive studies and consultations with technical experts were conducted before the city government finally decided to choose Salaan as the site for the SLF.

Congressman Celso Lobregat issued this statement to assure residents, particularly those residing near the SLF site, that no less than technical experts from the World Bank and the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) were consulted when he convened the Solid Waste Management Board (SWMB) in July 2008 during his incumbency as city mayor.

In that meeting, Christopher Rey Ancheta, operations officer of the World Bank and Atty. Zoilo Andin Jr., executive director of the NSWMC, clarified that the earlier findings of MGB, DENR 9, based on its on-site geological study declaring the proposed site as not suitable, was simply an initial output to a  more detailed environmental impact assessment for the issuance of an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC).

Both Ancheta and Andin provided the technical assistance during the selection process using the resource map overlay of the city as a tool in selecting the probable site considered with the least or minimum  interventions and mitigating measures.

There are really no sites in Zamboanga City considered as ideal for an SLF, but barangay Salaan has comparatively less mitigating measures, it was learned in that meeting.

Lobregat said it is wrong to say that the city government, during his incumbency as city mayor, spent millions of pesos for the SLF just because there are reports of alleged leakages from the garbage site that can pollute the nearby water sources and river.

It was explained by Engr. Rey Gonzales, head of the Office of Community Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR), who was quoted in recent radio interview, that the seepage was caused by the tampering of pipes at the garbage site.

Lobregat emphasized that it took him 3 terms as city mayor, from 2006 (when the proposal was first endorsed to  his office for study) up to 2012 (when the city started implementing the SLF), which is proof of a long and careful study of the city government-funded project.

Lobregat served as city mayor from 2004-2013. — Jubels Santos