By ACE ALEGRE
BAGUIO CITY – Angry barrio folk in La Union and Pangasinan were victorious at stopping the dumping of Baguio’s non-biodegradable waste in their area.
“Talagang mabaho,” (It really stinks.) said Ud-udiao barangay chairman Cesario Licos who said residents of at least 4 barangays including his village have mounted protests at the gates of the two-hectare private property in barangay Nangcatian used for almost four days to contain waste from this City.
At least two more barangays in Sison, Pangasinan are also affected by the nauseating smell, he said.
Some 20 tons of garbage were already dumped on the 2-hectare lot in Nangcatian in Rosario, Brgy. Chairman Ligos who earlier stopped the first dumping at a supposed 3-hectare private property in Ud-udiao when private property owners and residents howled against it, said.
“Bakit po ginagawa kaming basurahan,” an enraged Nangcatian villager said. Three barangays in Rosario, Ud-udiao, Esperanza and Bemmeckeg and two in adjacent Sison, Puzon and Tay-ac have demanded from their officials to stop the dumping since Saturday.
15 trucks of the private waste solution provider Pro Tech Machineries Corporation, were observed to have brought the garbage into the lot.
A truck contains at least 10 tons.
Baguio has contracted the firm to haul Baguio’s garbage until December by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and also tasked to look for available remedies after complaints heightened. The City’s Irisan dumpsite gave way and dropped tons and tons of garbage down hill in the height of typhoon Mina on August 27 killing six. Despite threats of lawsuits and earning a Writ of Kalikasan suit from the adjacent town of Tuba residents below the dumpsite report it is still operating.
Protech’s first bid to dump garbage in a lot in Ud-udiao barangay two weeks ago was foiled when private owners stopped the bulldozing and fencing. “Kami ang may-ari at wala kaming pahintulot kahit kanino na gamitin ang lupa para sa basura,” said Ester Bungay, one of the heirs of the late Igorot-Ibaloi landowner O’neil Oras, from Baguio.
Former Rosario town mayor Bellarmin Flores II, who allegedly misrepresented the real owners, reportedly arranged the dumping of Baguio’s garbage with Protechin in Ud-udiao for its “sorting and transfer station” of garbage from Baguio to Tarlac.
Although the owner of the lot in Nangcatian is a relative of ex-mayor Flores, said Licos, the residents prevailed because of health issues.
Earlier, deals with Pangasinan towns like San Manuel, Rosales, Urdaneta and Sison did not push through after problems on expensive tipping fees, lack of available space to accommodate residual wastes, opposition from community hosts and municipal leaders mounted.
With the foiled dump sites in Rosario, La Union, Baguio’s non-biodegradable garbage that reaches at least 70 tons a day, has nowhere to go.
This as the city prepares for its grandest festival – Panagbenga – supposedly smelling like flowers and not trash. # nordis.net