BAGUIO CITY – The former Special 6th Division of the Court of Appeals (CA) commended the City Government for the continuous rehabilitation of the closed 5.2-hectare Irisan open dumpsite which was the earlier subject of a consent decree after being subjected to a writ of kalikasan by concerned environmentalists in Baguio and Benguet.
In a two-page resolution dated June 27, 2016 signed by Associate Justices Ricardo R. Rosario Rosemarie D. Carandang and Japar B. Dimaampao, the CA cited the local government for the sustained activities leading to the permanent closure of the dumpsite and the adoption of appropriate solutions to address the city’s garbage disposal problems.
On March 21, 2016, the CA directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the Office of the Solicitor-General (OSG) and the City Government and its officials to submit their respective periodic reports on the implementation of the covenant’s content in the consent decree issued in the environmental case.
In its monitoring report on the closed Irisan dumpsite, the DENR informed the CA the facility remained closed for dumping and was secured with perimeter fence; upon entering the facility, mounds of compost were noted inside the facility; as previously observed, the dumpsite has not been used for dumping and the area has slowly been covered with natural vegetation; the two Environment Recycling (ERS) machines continue to process the city’s biodegradable waste with each machines capable of processing 24 tons of biodegradable waste into compost fertilizer and that the retaining walls, its buttresses, perimeter canals, storm or surface run-off canals, fence and other engineering structures are still intact and functioning.
Under its semestral updates on the closure and rehabilitation plan of the dump facility, the city government informed the CA that the two ERS machines continue to accommodate and daily process delivered biodegradable waste collected from the city public market as well as commercial and residential barangays; a developmental plan is in place for the conversion of the former dumpsite into an ecotourism center and the 10-year ecological solid waste management plan of the city has already been approved by the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC).
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan expressed his gratitude to the CA for recognizing the unrelenting and uncompromising effort of the local government to comply with the consent decree handed down pursuant to the writ of kalikasan against the continuous operation of the open dumpsite, saying that the city remains committed in finding permanent and cost effective solutions for the city’s increasing volume of daily garbage.
The city now generates a total of 402 tons of assorted waste daily, apart from the garbage generated by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), Camp John Hay (CJH), Baguio Country Club and SM City Baguio, wherein only 130 tons of residual wastes are being hauled out of the city to the sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac./By Dexter A. See