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Court denies developer’s petition for TRO against sanitary landfill

Saturday, February 21, 2009 [ ]

The San Mateo Regional Trial Court (RTC) denied the petition for a temporary restraining order filed by Filinvest Land Inc. and the Ecological Waste Coalition of the Philippines against a sanitary landfill operator after finding “no compelling urgency and no threat to its surroundings.”

“The court finds no compelling urgent reason and no threat of irreparable injury to justify the grant of a temporary restraining order,” San Mateo RTC Branch 75 Judge Manuel Taro said in a one-page decision.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Filinvest questioning the findings of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that the new San Mateo Sanitary Landfill located at Pintong Bukawe, San Mateo town, is outside the Marikina Watershed area and the protected forested area.

The new landfill facility has been under public and media scrutiny for the alleged intrusion into a protected and watershed area.

In an earlier decision, the court ruled in favor of Filinvest, a giant real estate developer. The temporary restraining order was to stop the construction, development and operation of the new sanitary landfill located at Pintong Bukawe, San Mateo.

In a map attached to the report of the DENR, the new San Mateo Sanitary Landfill is several kilometers away from the said closed MMDA landfill facility with an aerial distance of 1.883 kilometers from the Filinvest property.

In a letter to Filinvest, DENR stated the landfill site is situated within the vicinity of Mount Mataba specifically in Barangay Pintong Bukawe, San Mateo, Rizal falls outside the coverage of the two protected areas that cover some portions of the municipalities of San Mateo and Rodriguez namely: The Marikina Wastershed Reser­vation Park and an unnamed reservation park, Wildflife sanctuary and game preserve declared under Presidential Proclamation 1636 dated April 18, 1977.

In a related development, all 14 barangay councils and chairmen within San Mateo town have passed their respective resolutions, together with the Sangguniang Bayan resolution, supporting the operation of the said landfill facility after conducting several public hearings.--James Konstantin Galvez


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