Stalled for more than nine years, seventeen mayors, heaving a sigh of collective relief, witnessed the first day of a five day dry run of the controversial and long delayed completion of the 6.9 has. Alburquerque Cluster Sanitary Landfill (ACSLF) on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 in Barangay Dangay, Alburquerque.
Despite still unresolved construction issues hounding the full operation of the P300 million ACSLF, thirteen towns finally disposed their residual wastes weighed at 4,320 kilos during a four day dry run to test the operational efficiency of the long delayed project.
Governor Edgar Chatto hailed the “experimental opening” of the landfill as a big step towards the fulfillment of a concept hatched more than 10 years of seeking a collaborative effort to meet the waste disposal needs of the province in the next 20 years.
Chatto who was then congressman of the 1st district of BoholÂ succeeded in sourcing funds from the defunct Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) forÂ the initial funding of phase 1 of the P300 million projectÂ leading to the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between then PTA General Manager under Robert Dean Barbers and then Mayor Efren Tungol on February 12, 2007.
According to Chatto, the ACSLF, with the cooperation of the stakeholders willÂ serve as a “showcase for landfills in the country”.
The present number of cluster members is considered ideal that would extend the life span of the landfill by 25 years but the addition of more members would decrease the useful life expectancy by five to ten years.
Funded by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), the landfill project was scheduled to be finished by April 12, 2015 by Lourel Development Corporation.
Phase lll of the project cost of P55.8 million is yet to be handed over to the Local Government of Alburquerque by TIEZA even as the titling of the land where the landfill sits has not been completed.
RESIDUAL WASTE ONLY
Residual waste is waste that remains after recycling, re-using and rotting and is the only garbage the ACSLF will accept.
Examples of residual wastes, among others, are sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, styropors, soiled tissue papers, sachets and candy wrappers.
Residual waste from Loboc and Corella were the first to avail of the landfill facility with Tagbilaran City, Panglao, Alburquerque scheduled next week.
According to Julieta Teves, weighing clerk of the ACSLF, the 13 towns used an average of two dump trucks with an average gross weight of 2 tons and completed the operation in 25 minutes per truck.
Waste from Loon was turned back after a random inspection found that residual waste stuffed in sacks were mixed with garbage not acceptable in the landfill.
OPERATION NOT SIMPLE
However, Engr. Mario Almosera, consultant for the project gave a more realistic picture of the dry run saying “we will not be seeing the entire operational aspect of the disposal facility”.
According to Almosera, the waste will not yet be compressed or compacted and it will take at least three months before all the technical flaws will be hopefully solved.
According to the Waste Assessment and Characterization Study (WACS) conducted by the Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO) in 2015, daily residual waste produced by the 17 cluster members was 39,317 kilograms.
The top three biggest daily residual waste generators were Tagbilaran City – 9452, Baclayon – 8,820 and Panglao – 3,510.
Dauis – 3,241, Loon – 2,983, Maribojoc – 1,604, Calape, 1575, Loboc – 1,444, Corella – 970, Dimiao – 914, Balilihan – 832, Antequera – 830, Loay – 803 and Sikatuna – 790.
The towns of Lila – 185, Cortes – 617 and Alburquerque – 747 rounded up the bottom of the 16 towns that generated the least residual waste.
However, the Local Government of Alburquerque maintained that the acceptance of the landfill from the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zoning Authority (TIEZA) hinges on the strict implementation of the approved specifications and standards of the project.
“Acceptance at this point is remote considering that our 16 point concern remains to be validated by TIEZA, former Mayor Efren Tungol told the Chronicle.
A turn-over of the project was pushed by Project Manager Engr. Joselito Aure before the start of the dry run but was rebuffed by newly elected Alburquerque Mayor Alfren Tungol, the son of the former mayor.
“The turn-over is not part of today’s agenda. We still have to wait for the post assessment of the five day dry run and the measures done to address our concerns”, Tungol told Aure.
“We were not even informed about this dry run”, added Mayor Tungol.
The Chronicle also learned that a representative of the Commission on Audit Regional Technical Office conducted an ocular inspection of the landfill equipment as per request of former Mayor Tungol.
According to the former Mayor, the COA recommended the upgrading of the “aging” landfill equipment.
On May 16, 2016, Tungol sought the assistance of the Equipment Inspection Section of the Commission on Audit (COA) Region Vll to conduct audit/inspection on the heavy equipment delivered by TIEZA.
Tungol expressed concern on the quality of the hydraulic excavator, vibratory compactor, two Izuzu ten wheeler dump truck with models 1992 and 1990 respectively.
Tungol told TIEZA that before the LGU accepts the project, they have to pass the stringent review of the Commission on Audit and the Alburquerque Monitoring Inspectorate Team.
The 16 municipalities and Tagbilaran City will fork out “seed money” of P100,000.00 each for the operation and maintenance of the landfill and will be assessed a disposal or tipping fee of P1,300 per ton.
The ACSLF will not accept direct garbage disposal and will require all garbage trucks to secure a certificate that the garbage to be disposed were inspected by personnel of the municipal transfer stations.
Each municipality will dump their residual wastes once a week with Tagbilaran City given the option to dispose their wastes more than once in consideration to the volume of their trash.
Officials of the ACSLF Cluster Board is headed by Alburquerque Mayor Alfren Tungol as Chairman, Sikatuna Mayor Jose Ellorimo, Jr., Vice Chairman, Balilihan Mayor Pureza Chatto, Secretary, Baclayon Mayor Benecio Uy, Treasurer,
Elvie Peter Relampagos, Committee Chairman, Legal and Financial, Calape Mayor Nelson Yu, Committee Chairman, Technology and Innovation and Corella Mayor Jose Nicanor Tocmo, Committee Chairman, Sanitary Landfill Operations and Community Relations.
SERIOUS COMMUNITY CONCERNS
The establishment of sanitary landfills has been stalled by a strongÂ NIMBY opposition or “not in my own backyard” mindset of residentsÂ fearing health hazards and local officials scared of a potentialÂ political backlash.
The former mayor recalled the ordeal that the LGU went through after the projectÂ was almost scuttled by a strong NIMBY reaction that pitted residentsÂ and local professionals against the scientific community from the
academe and national government agencies.
A sanitary landfill is defined as a specially engineered wasteÂ disposal site designed, constructed, operated and maintained to acceptÂ municipal residual wastes and constructed to reduce hazards to publicÂ health and safety.
The Provincial Ecological Solid Waste Management is planning to establish four more cluster sanitary landfills in Tubigon, Talibon, Jagna and Dagohoy.(Chito M. Visarra)