By ACE ALEGRE
BAGUIO CITY — Affected residents in Irisan barangay, site of the five-hectare open dumpsite, are suing Baguio City Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr., Administrator Peter Fianza and Environment Officer Romeo Concio for the continued dumping of Baguio’s garbage at the said dumpsite.
“Instead of averting more environmental and health disasters, these officials are the ones violating rights,” said the residents in their petition for injunction with temporary restraining order.
The Irisan residents year barricaded the dumpsite which should have been closed 2006, stopping the city from further piling up garbage. The residentts said, the city government failed to stand by earlier agreements to finally close the dump.
On April 1, the residents claimed in their petition before the courts, the city started dumping garbage again their concern that the rainsare here and the garbage to flow down to residents near the dumpsite and further down barangay Tadiangan in Tuba, Benguet. The potable water sources contaminated, they said.
Even after dialogs that forged agreements that the city government stop dumping was breached, hence the suit against city officials, said lawyer for the petitioners George Dumawing, former IBP-Baguio-Benguet chairman.
City officials, however, argued that the dumpsite has been closed but could be occasionally opened for rehabilitation. Work being done there are for rehabilitation and not dumping the officials insisted.
For more than nine months now since the “closure” of the dump, Baguio’s garbage has been hauled to a privately-run sanitary landfill in Tarlac but budgetary constraints have reportedly hampered the hauling.
Unconvinced, residents however claim that dumping never ceased posing “an eminent danger of erosion, other environmental and health hazards such as water pollution and diseases.”
The city mayor and city officials, said Dumawing, “know for a fact that the dumping is a clear violation of section 37 of Republic Act 9003.”
Earlier, the DENR foisted to sue towns and cities which continue to use open dumpsites around the country. # nordis.net