The contractor of the sanitary landfill project in Brgy. Felisa, Bacolod City, yesterday said he wants to duplicate the project in Manila and make that of Bacolod an eco-tourist sanitary landfill.
Senando Santiago, president of A.L. Salazar Construction Inc., also told Felisa officials that they have a gold mine resting in their place.
The P32 million sanitary landfill was turned over yesterday by Santiago to the Bacolod City Government represented by Mayor Evelio Leonardia during the ceremony and blessing in Brgy. Felisa.
The ceremonial turnover was witnessed by Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials led by Undersecretary for Operations Ernesto Adobo Jr.
Adobo said their thrust is to tap the local government to make the operation of the sanitary landfill successful, and congratulated Leonardia for complying with the law.
He pointed out that only 3 percent of local government units in the country are compliant with the sanitary landfill, with only 24 in Luzon, 10 in the Visayas and four in Mindanao.
Adobo said the key to the successful management of the sanitary landfill facility is discipline, as well as segregation and collection. “We believe that environmental management is everyone's concern,” he said.
Santiago, who is also president of the International Solid Waste Integrated Management Inc., said the sanitary landfill of Bacolod is a replica of what they have in Manila which has a viewing deck, a tourist spot intended for the cycling enthusiasts, and a greenhouse.
They also produce projects there that they can export, he said.
Santiago said the sanitary landfill of Bacolod is intended to operate for three years but without an effective and efficient Materials Recovery Facility and segregation, it is nothing.
He told Felisa officials that if they rehabilitate the existing dumpsite, it will provide them income. The development in Felisa is very encouraging because in Manila they have discovered that the combustible component of solid waste can be used as fuel, he said.
Leonardia said the sanitary landfill is one of the major requirements to comply with R.A. 9003 and they are happy that, in the whole Philippines, Bacolod, is on top of the 5 percent that have complied out of about 1,500 local governments.
He recalled that so much was done to derail the sanitary landfill but, in the end, he said, they prevailed and they are happy that no less than the top officials of the DENR were present to validate that, indeed, Bacolod is one of the top in terms of compliance with the Solid Waste Management Law.
Leonardia said there are a 1.5 hectares left in the sanitary landfill and if they put up another one, chances are the site will be good for 10 years. A lot will depend now on how their segregation program will succeed, he said.
The project cost of P32 million was taken from the deferred Internal Revenue Allotment of Bacolod, Leonardia said.
The DENR study had recommended that Felisa was suitable for a landfill, he said.
“What we are seeing today is a testimony to the fast that growth is now penetrating the different areas of Bacolod,” he added.
Bacolod City Water District general manager Juliana Carbon said the sanitary landfill is another milestone of the Leonardia administration which shows the city's firm commitment to comply strictly with SWM laws.
Carbon also assured that the BACIWA wells in Felisa will not be affected by the sanitary landfill as explained in a report submitted by the EMB.
Leonardia said Santiago had mentioned that he will make the Bacolod sanitary landfill a showcase for Visayas and Mindanao.
“When we look back someday and talk about the major projects like the Bacolod Slaughterhouse, Bacolod City College, relocation site, government center, I will consider the sanitary landfill among the top achievements of this administration,” he said.
Leonardia said they will see to it that they can sustain the sanitary landfill so it will not be filled up early. They also have to make sure that only residual wastes will be dumped into it, so they can achieve the goal of making it last for three years.
The sanitary landfill was blessed yesterday by Fr. Romeo Empestan.
Also present at the turnover rites were Samson Guillergan, chief of pollution control of the Environment Management Bureau, Joan Gerangaya, Levino Duran and Amelita Quintos-Guillergan of the DENR VI and provincial coordinator Vicente Los Bañes, and barangay captains led by Association of Barangay Captains president Mona Dia Jardin, Councilor El Cid Familiaran, Bacolod Police Director Senior Supt. Ricardo dela Paz, members of the Solid Waste Management Board and Solid Waste Technical Working Group, and city department heads.*CGS