Envi groups appeal for closure of Bulacan and QC dumpsites

Bangon Kalikasan Movement, Green Convergence and EcoWaste Coalition are calling for the closure of the Waste Custodial Management (WACUMAN) “Sanitary Landfill” and VGP Engineered “Sanitary Landfill” located at Barangay San Isidro and Newtown Development Area, Brgy Minuyan Proper, both in the City of San Jose Del Monte (CSJDM), Bulacan; and the Payatas “Sanitary Landfill ” in Quezon City—all of which are dumpsites in disguise.

“Respiratory diseases in children such as cough, colds, and asthma; as well as diarrhea and skin diseases are reported to have increased among those residing in the immediate surroundings of the VGP so-called “SANITARY landfill,” said Joey Papa of Bangon Kalikasan Movement, which is also a member of Green Convergence.

Papa, together with other members of Green Convergence and residents of Brgys Paradise III, Minuyan, Citrus—an affected area near Brgy. Minuyan, and Payatas, Quezon City, including the above-stated affected children, met recently with Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje to seek the immediate closure of the three dumpsites.

Mothers and their children and a barangay health worker affected by the VGP and Payatas dumps complained that dumps have affected their health. One child from Payatas asked Secretary Paje to close the dump, saying he and his playmates are getting sick of asthma because of the foul odor. “Nahihirapan po kaming huminga,” he added.

Those living near Brgys Minuyan, Citrus, and Paradise III just below Brgy. San Isidro, where the WACUMAN dump is located, expressed similar complaints.

“Warm weather followed by a sudden rainfall intensifies the foul odor emitted from the dumps, making it more toxic and causing greater affliction among the residents and compromising their health. Also, the Santo Cristo River near the dump could be contaminated due to potential release of leachate. ” the complaining residents added.

“We urge San Jose Del Monte City Mayor Reynaldo San Pedro and Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista to immediately order the closure of the dumps and to set up the ecology center system starting with waste prevention, reduction, segregation in the households together with recycling and composting with the help of the barangay. A model of this system is within Bulacan itself, in the municipality of Calumpit.” said Papa.

“San Pedro and Bautista as a local government official, should lead by example by implementing the essence of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management, especially now that our country is in the midst of intensifying crises in the environment,” Papa added.