Feature: How to Kill the Next Generation (1)
"Bacolod City is one of the top five percent (5%) Local Government Unit (LGU) which is implementing the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (R.A.9003) by constructing a Sanitary Landfill," declared Undersecretary Demetrio Ignacio of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and specifically saying that the City "complies with the requirement of sanitary landfill."
The horizontal sight of what seems to be an "Olympic size" depression covered by black polyethylene film obviously for garbage collection and another depression that looks like a "family size" swimming pool clearly shown in photo. The "pool" of stagnant water should be the waste water and lecheate treatment facilities. It is all empty and non-functional.* (H. James G. Toga/NDB)
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia himself was happiest during the blessing of said Sanitary Landfill, reported two months ago, repeating what the undersecretary said, "We deserve this, being among the first 5 percent to comply with the sanitary landfill requirement in the whole country, out of about 1,500 local governments units."
A trip to the daunted Barangay Felisa, where this so-called Sanitary Landfill was dug, is very, very frustrating. It is in the portion of the Barangay nearest to the boundary of Bacolod and residential areas of Murcia and Bago City. In fact Murcia more than three years ago, submitted a Sangguniang Panglunsod Resolution to the City of Bacolod complaining about the smell and health hazards caused by three mountains of garbage dump arbitrarily south (far front) of said glorified Sanitary Landfill.
Taken through a telescopic lens, the empty and non-functional newly-inaugurated sanitary landfill at Barangay Felisa served as a good excuse for building another mountain of garbage. Daily, trucks of garbage such as this in photo are simply dumped until mountains excreting deadly lecheates are created.* (H. James G. Toga/NDB)
Where, where, where is the operational Sanitary Landfill, which according to the Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as "The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000" should create business and avoid death to the succeeding generation? Mayor Leonardia and DENR said so.
Upon entering the hallowed site of Mayor Leonardia and the DENR, and standing at the entrance of a vast fenced lot with sign "private property" an empty cage with sign "Materials Recovery Facility" (MRF) will receive visitors and sight seers. The facility is empty.
At sight from the entrance, is an "Olympic Size" depression covered by black polyethylene film. Obviously, this should be where the segregated garbage is to be stored and the polyethylene film is to protect the underground water and all forms of life underneath the surface. This, too, is empty and from the looks, it will be filled to the brim in three days time not two to three years or 10 years as DENR claimed.
Further to the left of the Olympic Size depression appears to be a "family size" swimming pool with stagnant water. Obviously, this should be the wastewater and landfill leachate treatment facilities. Landfill leachates are different forms of deadly organic and inorganic chemical compounds generated by liquids already existing in garbage. Its volume multiplies as rainwater dampens the garbage collection therefore the urgent need to construct a treatment facility.
Former Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr. who launched a fight against his party "Grupo Progreso" uttered to himself, "This is the P54 million-peso reported budget for the ‘alleged’ Bacolod City Sanitary Landfill?" and was deeply saddened as he turned to the three mountains of untouched dumped garbage to the south of this empty facility.
This rainy season, immeasurable volume of deadly leachates are drained down the underground from said mountains and mountains of dumped garbage who says that the seven wells of the Bacolod City Water District will not be contaminated? These seven Baciwa wells are just two kilometers away from the tons and tons of garbage accumulated close to a decade now and Baciwa more than doubled its efforts in monitoring nearest six wells. It had closed one well nearest to the "mountains" for reasons of "poor quality water production".
Gamboa, Jr. said, "They are dumping garbage to cover lies".* (To be continued)