QC GOVT PLANS TO CONVERT PAYATAS INTO CONTROLLED DISPOSAL FACILITY

MANILA, August 21, 2003 (STAR)  By Benny G. Enriquez  - Taking cognizance of the environmental concern in the surrounding area, the Quezon City government through Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. made a proposal to immediately convert Payatas into a controlled dump facility. As provided by RA 9003, LGUs with existing open dumpsites should facilitate the closure or at the very least convert the operation of the dumpsites into a controlled disposal facility.

Payatas dumpsite is considered as one of the predominantly operational dumping sites in the country. It has been the site of Quezon City’s solid waste disposal for almost three decades. With the emergence of urban development covering a population of 2.3 million, the city’s waste generation has now reached 1,500 tons per day.

The rehabilitation of the present condition of the Payatas open dumpsite by converting the operation of the site into a controlled dump facility is one of the proposed projects of Quezon City government’s Environmental Protection and Solid Waste Management Program.

Right after the garbage disaster in July 2000, the city decided to permanently close one of the active sites and facilitate the resettlement of some families affected by the disaster. Apart from some rehabilitation works within the active site, Payatas dumpsite is considered a threat to the environment when not given adequate attention.

As early as 1994, there have been efforts from the national agencies and the city government to close and rehabilitate the Payatas dumpsite. However, the absence of adequate waste disposal facilities prompted the continued use of the site as its impending closure is seen to result in another garbage crisis. It was decided to limit the operation and coverage of the dumpsite to Quezon City only.

The department through the secretariat of the National Solid Waste Management Commission extended technical assistance to the city government in determining the necessary improvement and operational parameters to warrant the conversion. The site assessment was carried out using the environmental criteria and other socio-economic factors prescribed by RA 9003 and its IRRs. Accordingly, the department issued the notice to proceed with its conversion on Aug. 9, 2003.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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