By ALMA B. SINUMLAG
BAGUIO CITY—One of the lawyers of the petition for the Writ of Kalikasan filed against the city of Baguio before the Supreme Court on December 2011 urged the residents near the dump to monitor the activities since the court has issued the Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) on January 17 this year.
The TEPO orders the respondents namely, the City government of Baguio represented by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and all the City councilors, the City Solid Waste Management Board, City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to cease and desist from “making use of the Irisan dumpsite either as a temporary holding/staging area or as a dumping or controlled area for any kind of solid wastes”.
The TEPO and the SC resolution requires the respondents to comment on the petition within 10 days after receiving the order.
Atty Francisca Claver in an interview urged the petitioners specifically those living near the dumpsite to monitor the activities in the area especially after the respondents file their comment on the petition.
“The city should totally stop using the site in any activity,” she iterated. If the respondents after filing their answer will still be caught dumping or holding solid wastes in area, she said, they will file a motion for contempt against the them for disobedience to the Supreme Court’s order.
Therefore, Claver said, there is a need for the residents near the dump to be vigilant. “Hindi porke naibaba na ang order ay tapos na,” (Issuance of the TEPO does not mean that the petition is done) she added.
Moreover, she stressed that the issue should be taken seriously by the City because it has been long overdue for the respondents to comply with the Solid Waste Management law (R.A. 9003) “This is not new to them,” she further said.
In the R.A. 9003, it was mandated that by the year 2005, all open and controlled dump should be permanently stopped and rehabilitated, she pointed. The city however according to her did not comply with it.
Further, she added that prior to their filing of the petition last month, they were able to take a photo of the mountain of garbage newly dumped in the site. It was part of the petition’s exhibit. However, Claver said that after the filing, the garbage in the photo was hauled. “It was a good reaction coming from the respondents,” she said.
Meanwhile, Cordelia Lacsamana who is representing the CEPMO said that they have received the SC order on January 25, Wednesday. She added that at the moment, the city is doing its best to provide services for the solid waste management.
On the other hand, Mayor Domogan told the media that the city is abiding by the court order. He has instructed every barangay to maximize the Material Recovery Facility (MRF). # nordis.net