The start of operation of the first cluster sanitary landfillÂ in the province which supposedly will be on Tuesday might again be delayed as some documents are still being questioned by the Alburquerque municipal government.
With this feared delay, the garbage disposal in the city and the towns will remain to be a major environmental problem.
Â Aside from Tagbilaran City, the 16 towns awaiting the operation of the Alburquerque Sanitary Landfill (ACSLF) are Panglao, Dauis, Baclayon, Alburquerque, Loay, Loboc, Maribojoc, Cortes, Loon, Calape, Corella, Balilihan, Sikatuna, Lila, Dimiao and Antequera.
Two days before the anticipated start of operation of the long-delayed landfill project, the agreed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to temporarily legalize the ownership and operation of the P300 million landfill has yet to be signed.Â
The complete control and operation of the AlburquerqueÂ Cluster Sanitary Landfill (ACSLF) by the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Alburquerque, Bohol has been snagged by documentary requirements during the scheduled turn-over ceremonies last Tuesday.
The MOA was considered a stop-gap measure to avoid questions from the Commission on Audit (COA) over the ownership and operation of the landfill in the absence of documents from TIEZA donating theÂ 6.9 hectareÂ property to Alburquerque which was bought by the defunct Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) from owners of 14 lots.
Instead, a “ceremonial” turnover was witnessed by top officials of the Provincial GovernmentÂ of Bohol (PGB) led by Governor Edgar Chatto, municipal and barangay officials headed by Mayor EprenÂ Tungol, Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Presiding Officer and Vice Mayor CayetanoDoria and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) executives and mayors of the cluster members and their representatives.
Another legal hurdle is now looming after the SB stressed that a fast-tracked resolution passed by the legislative body was explicitly for the acceptance of the 14 lots through a deed of donation from TIEZA.
According to SB member Adriana Milo, the resolution does not state that the facility where the landfill stands will be part of the acceptance documents.
Milo toldÂ DYRD BalitaÂ that the SB reached a consensus that the landfill should not be turned over to the LGU unless engineering concerns raised by the Municipal Inspectorate Team created by former Mayor Tungol will be satisfactorily addressed.
But an existing agreement signed between the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA), the forerunner of the TIEZA headed by General Manager Robert Dean S. Barbers and former MayorÂ Tungol inÂ February 12,Â 2007Â authorized the municipality of “taking over the operation, management, administration and maintenance of the Sanitary Landfill.”
Atty. Hernandez, TIEZA Legal Consultant and Mayor ElprenTungol have reached an agreement to fill the legal gap in the absence of the deed of donation with a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to jump start the operation slated on Tuesday.
The delay in the drawing up of the deed of donation was attributed to the dissolution of the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) and the subsequent transfer of its assets and documents to the TIEZA.
The 14 lots were purchased and titled under the PTA and have to be transferred to TIEZA and finally to the LGU of Alburquerque together with the landfill facilities after the completion of the project by the contractor Lourel Development Corporation.
The MOA will be signed by both TIEZA and Alburquerque detailing the conditions for the operation of the landfill to steer clear of potential questions from the Commission on Audit (COA).
The LGU is still awaiting a report from the COA on the technical review of the state of condition of the long-delayed Php300 million landfill project that will serve as a repository of the residual wastes of 16 municipalities and one city for the next 25 years.
Conflicting statements surfaced during the anticipated turnover ofÂ the facility as TIEZA categorically said that it will be a “complete turnover” while the Mayor Tungol maintained that the acceptance hinges on the strict implementation of the approved standards and specifications of the project.
Chatto, who played a pivotal role in the initial funding of the project urged the stakeholders particularly the mayors of the sixteen towns and one city that make up the ACSLF to exert their utmost effort to achieve the goals of the only clustered landfill in the country.
The ACSLF includes the City of Tagbilaran, Panglao, Dauis, Baclayon, Alburquerque, Loay, Loboc, Maribojoc, Cortes, Loon, Calape, Corella, Balilihan, Sikatuna, Lila, Dimiao and Antequera.Â (Chito M. Visarra)Â