Ternateňos Hit Local Officials for Approving Waste Landfill

TERNATE, Cavite- Concerned citizens of Ternate and different ecogroups condemned the decision of local officials to approve and build a proposed provincial landfill for Cavite within the watershed area of this town.

“We are shocked and saddened by the decision of our government leaders. Ternateňos have opposed this project from the very beginning and instead of safeguarding the will of the people, our leaders chose to be deaf and continue to pursue this environmentally-destructive project,” said Engr. Ronaldo de Vera of the multi-sectoral Ternate Against Landfill Association (TALA).

The proposed ‘sanitary’ landfill will be built in Barangay Sapang I, a site identified by the Local Water Utilities Authority (LUWA) as part of the ground water basin area of the town. The landfill is also within the buffer zone of Mt. Palay palay/ Mataas na Gulod Natural Park, home to some of the country’s endemic and endangered species of fauna and flora.

The proposed landfill will cater to mixed wastes from the different municipalities and cities of the province. It is being spearheaded by Cavite Governor Ayong Maliksi and EnvironSave, the private company who will build and operate the said facility.

Opposition of the residents of Ternate on the said waste disposal facility has been very evident in past public consultations for the said waste disposal project, the latest of which was called for by the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) last August 27, 2008.

More than 300 residents, youth, teachers and students of Ternate and nearby towns trooped to the town’s covered court to express their opposition to the local officials who facilitated the said public consultation which includes Ternate Mayor Conrado Lindo.

“We also gave them copies of petitions signed by more than 12,000 residents of Ternate,” said de Vera.

Despite of this, SB passed a resolution approving the landfill project on September 4 and this was hastily signed by Lindo last September 8. Three months ago, Mayor Lindo was the number one opponent of the said landfill project.

“Landfills are failed technologies and it is not an ecological solution to garbage woes. It produces toxic chemicals such as leachate and will contaminate the ground and surface water. Waste disposal facilities are also major contributors of methane gas which significantly increase global warming,” said Ochie Tolentino, coordinator of the Cavite Green Coalition.

“Landfills are a private business with millions of investments. To recover the cost and earn profit, landfill operators need more garbage. Escape of toxic substance may come either through negligence, non-compliance of the operator or natural deterioration of the facility,” said Tolentino.

“Instead of continuously adopting quick, expensive but destructive solutions to garbage such as collect-and-dump management, local leaders should start capacitating their barangays and stakeholders to implement ecological solid waste management. Decentralization of management and segregation at source are the key factors as shown by hundreds of cities and municipalities around the world that gained major steps towards advancing zero waste solutions,” said Rei Panaligan, coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition.
“Our local leaders failed us but we will continue to oppose this project to ensure that our children will continue to live in a healthy environment,” said de Vera.

For more information, please contact Engr. Ronaldo de Vera of TALA at 0916-6917477 or Rei of the EcoWaste Coalition at 9290376 or 0920-9062348.

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 320, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 9290376