After nearly more than a decade of contentious bickerings, the operation of the Alburquerque Cluster Sanitary Landfill (ACSLF) located in Barangay Dangay will finally get underway on February 1, 2017.
The operation of the long-delayed PhP300 million landfill was hastened after the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of AlburquerqueÂ set aside their differences and forged an agreement for the turn-over of the 6.9 hectares facility on January 24, 2016.
Plagued by questionable accomplishment reports, aging equipment, costly time overruns, alleged slipshod construction works, the ACSLF will finally be put to test as the sixteen towns and one city will start disposing their residual wastes.
FINALLY AFTER 12 YEARSÂ
An existing agreement signed between the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA), the forerunner of the TIEZA headed by General Manager Robert Dean S. Barbers and Mayor Tungol in February 12, 2007Â authorized the municipality of “taking over the operation, management, administration and maintenance of the Sanitary Landfill.”
Governor Edgar Chatto hailed the turn-over and operation of the ACSLF as the “fulfillment of a concept hatched more than 10 years ago seeking a collaborative effort to meet the waste disposal needs of the province in the next 20 years.”Â
Chatto who was then congressman of the 1st district of BoholÂ succeeded in sourcing funds from the defunct PTA forÂ the initial funding of phase 1 of the P300 million project said “this will be the first cluster sanitary landfill in the country serving several municipalities.”
ABRUPT CHANGEÂ Â Â
But there is a rub in the turn-over as former AlburquerqueÂ Mayor Efren Tungol clarified that the turn-over will only involve a deed of donation from TIEZA of the 14 lots they bought for the construction of the landfill at PhP40/sq, meters.
The sudden turn-around by the LGU who mounted fierce opposition to the acceptance of the controversial landfill project was unexpected after a 16 point concern was raised as a condition for the turn-over.
Engineer Gregory Oller, Manager,Â ConstructionÂ and Supervision Division of TIEZA told the Chronicle thatÂ LourelÂ Development Corporation, contractor of the project has turned-over to TIEZA phaseÂ lllÂ of the landfill project after a 21-month delay.
According to Oller, it will be a complete turn-over contrary to the statement of Tungol, now Municipal Consultant for Infrastructure that only a “conditional acceptance” of the facility will be acknowledged by the LGU.
But Tungol Â insisted that “We will only accept parts of the project that has satisfied the stringent requirements of a landfill and will put those that is under technical assessment of the Commission on Audit and the Municipal Inspectorate Team on “conditional acceptance.”
Incumbent Mayor Elpren Tungol, son of the former mayor also maintained that the acceptance of the landfillÂ hinges on the strict implementation of the approved specifications and standards of the project.
Tungol wrote Atty.Â GuillerÂ Asido, TIEZA Acting Chief Operating Officer on July 8,Â 2016Â requesting for the “possible immediate variation in the design and relocation of the weighbridge at the entrance to the landfill site and change its design considering its elevation”.
TIEZA responded by re-aligning the elevation of the weighbridgeÂ to correct the steepness of the slope endangering the safety of dump trucks waiting in line for weighing.Â
The Commission on Audit (COA) has acceded to the request of the Local Government Unit (LGU) ofÂ AlburquerqueÂ to conduct a technical review of the P300 million ACSLF located in Barangay Dangay.
But according to Engr. Mario Almosera, consultant of the project, in a phone interview with theÂ ChronicleÂ said “The ACSLF is ripe for operation and its effectiveness and efficiency can only be measured thru actual operation.”
Almosera supervised the five day dry run of the ACSLF on September 13, 2016 that saw the residual wastes weighed at 4,320 kilos of sixteen municipalities and the City of Tagbilaran disposed in Barangay Dangay.Â
Tungol, who bore the brunt of fierce criticisms from residents ofÂ AlburquerqueÂ for consenting to host a landfill for the garbage disposal of an original ten municipalities “conditionally accepted” equipment for the use of the landfill operations.
Tungol expressed concern on the quality of the hydraulic excavator, vibratory compactor, twoÂ IzuzuÂ ten wheeler dump truck with models 1992 and 1990 respectively.
On April 25, 2016,Â Tungol signed the partial turn-over of the four units of heavy equipment from Atty.Â GuillerÂ Asido, Chief Operating Officer in behalf of TIEZA.
The original ten towns has grown into seventeen towns that will dispose theirÂ residual wastes in the ACSLF including Tagbilaran City with an estimated more than 30 tons of garbage produced daily.
The increase in the number of towns served by the ACSLF did not sit well with the Sanggunniang Bayan (Municipal Council) fearing negative effects on the increase of waste in the municipality.
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, according to then project manager Engr. Joselito Aure.
As early as February 23,Â 2015Â a resolution was unanimously passed by the SBÂ expressingÂ support to the recommendation of the Municipal Inspectorate Team for the termination of the contract between the Tourism Infrastructure and Economic Zone Authority (TIEZA) andÂ LourelÂ Development Corporation, contractor of the ACSLF phaseÂ lll.
The resolution clearly showed the frustration of the municipal officials over TIEZA’s apparent disregard on the deficiencies and requests by the Inspectorate Team thatÂ was ignored and was not given due course and appropriate action.
Among the concerns raised by the monitoring team were the provisions on theÂ geo-syntheticÂ liner and flooring for the fishpondÂ which the LGU requires but TIEZA finds unnecessary.
The depth of the monitoring wells should be at least 90 meters underground, the number of ground monitoring wells and theÂ collapse of the retaining wall due to heavy rains and the quality of the soil that accommodated the structure.
Alburquerque top councilor Don-donÂ BuatesÂ texted theÂ ChronicleÂ upon learning of the impending acceptance and operation of the project said “I am against the operation of the landfill inÂ Alburquerque. There is no ordinance for the establishment of the landfill and is a violation of section 44 of RA 9003. The MOA entered by former mayor Tungol does not have the imprimatur of the SB.”
Officials of the ACSLF Cluster Board headed by Tungol agreed to fork out “seed money” of PhP100,000.00 each for the operation and maintenance of the landfill and will be assessed a disposal or tipping fee of PhP1,300 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 a week in consideration to the volume of their trash.
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.
Other members of the ACSLF Cluster Board are Sikatuna Mayor Jose Ellorimo, Jr., Vice Chairman, Balilihan Mayor Pureza Chatto, Secretary, Baclayon Mayor Benecio Uy, Treasurer,Â
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.Â (Chito M. Visarra)Â