Oscar Camantiles, SB Itogon, DENR-CAR, PAMB, EMB, DENR Sec., SP Benguet, Nestor Fongwan, NCIP-CAR

WHEREAS, under R.A. 9003, it is the municipality/city that is mandated to implement/establish a final depository area for its municipal wastes. The mandate for barangay-LGU is to establish a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) for the segregation and collection of solid wastes specifically for biodegradable, compostable, and reusable wastes;

WHEREAS, the identified area for the final waste disposal facility of the Municipality of Itogon in its Municipal Ecological Solid Waste Management Plan (MESWMP) is at Luneta-Antamok, Brgy. Loakan, NOT in Brgy. Ampucao;

WHEREAS, the proposed site is within a protected area. It is within the jurisdiction of the Lower Agno Watershed Forest Reserve (LAWFR). Since it is within a watershed, the area should be protected and planted more with trees in support to Executive Order (EO) 26 or the National Greening Program (NGP) of the government, which mandates the planting of trees in 1.5 million Ha. for 6 years in public domain such as Protected areas, Ancestral Domain areas, reservation, mining areas and other suitable areas. The partner agencies in the program even include the LGU and DepEd, among others;

WHEREAS, we can clearly see the fully grown Benguet Pine Trees and saplings in the area. The construction of an ESL in the area will mean cutting of the said trees, which is a violation of Executive Order (EO) 23, which is the Logging Moratorium in Natural and Residual Forest or the Total Log Ban Order;

WHEREAS, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Benguet Governor, the Baguio City Mayor, the Ampucao Punong Barangay, and the contractor representative, Dr. Cho Yong Seog was executed on May 18, 2011. The said MOU revealed that the plan is to establish a Temporary Staging Area/Temporary Sanitary Landfill (TSA/TSL) as Phase 1 to be utilized by Baguio City for its garbage that are not being processed by its ERS machines at Irisan. The ESL, when completed, will be used by Baguio City for 25 years. It is also stated in the MOU that the ESL project is for La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay;

WHEREAS, the creeks near the site will flow down to the Sal-angan River downstream. Several studies revealed that even a state-of-the-art ESL will release toxins to the air and will eventually release toxic-bearing leachate to the ground and surface water. Even the best liner and leachate collection systems will ultimately fail due to natural deterioration and are predicted to break down in about twenty (20) years after they are installed. This may not be detected during the time the landfill operators are actively and financially obligated, because NOBODY KNOWS WHEN IT WILL LEAK;

WHEREAS, there are people living near the proposed site. If this project will push through, definitely, the health of these people will be at risk. Studies released in other countries stated that people living near solid wastes landfills revealed increased incidence of cancers of the stomach, liver, prostate, lung, cervix/uterus, bladder, rectum and leukemia among men and women. The landfill liners and plastic pipes allow chemicals and gases to pass through their membranes, become brittle, swell, and break down;

WHEREAS, garbage trucks going to Tapak will be passing daily along the Philex-Kias route, which will cause air pollution affecting the residents along the road;

WHEREAS, because the plan is to establish first a TSA/TSL, it would mean an open dumpsite-like facility first. This will attract rodents and other insects in the area, which will affect nearby residential areas. This will be like the Alno sanitary landfill of La Trinidad, Benguet. The design is an ESL, but look at it today. The wastes are exposed, attracting all kinds of flying and crawling insects and there are scavengers also in the area.

We, the undersigned, call on Mayor Oscar M. Camantiles not to endorse or approve, and the DENR-CAR, EMB, and PAMB not to endorse or issue clearance/permit to the proposed engineered sanitary landfill (ESL) at Tapak, Ampucao, Itogon, Benguet.

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The REQUESTING MAYOR OSCAR CAMANTILES, DENR-CAR, EMB, & PAMB NOT TO ENDORSE THE PROPOSED ESL AT TAPAK petition to Oscar Camantiles, SB Itogon, DENR-CAR, PAMB, EMB, DENR Sec., SP Benguet, Nestor Fongwan, NCIP-CAR was written by somar911 and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.