Thursday, May 14, 2009 [ sunstar.com.ph ]
By Rene H. Martel
CEBU City councilors are eyeing to declare the city under a “state of environmental calamity” so they could tap calamity funds to respond to the problem.
The declaration is set to be proposed in next week’s council session.
City Councilor Augustus Pe Jr. brought attention to the environmental situation of the city in yesterday’s session, when he asked if it could already be said that the city is in a “state of environmental calamity.”
It was a follow-up discussion on the public hearing on a proposed measure that seeks to regulate the use of plastics in the city.
City Councilor Nestor Archival Sr. said yes, clarifying that the city is already “very near” an environmental disaster.
Archival heads the city council committee on parks and playground, wildlife, ecology and environmental management.
He cited the fire that struck Inayawan landfill a few weeks ago, which resulted from the burning of methane gas in the mountain of garbage.
Archival said 70 to 80 percent of trash in the landfill is plastic, which he said should be addressed.
He also mentioned that saltwater intrusion already reached the Barangay Capitol Site area, which is above sea level.
“Perhaps we can allocate funds and support activities of environment advocates,” said Pe.
Councilor Edgardo Labella agreed, saying they have declared a state of calamity preparedness in the past, so they can do so again so funds can be immediately used to address environmental concerns.
He, however, said such a request should be calendared for inclusion during the next regular session to give the councilors the “opportunity to think it over.”
Acting Vice Mayor Hilario Davide III, city council presiding officer, said the request should be supported by facts.
During the discussion, Councilor Gerardo Carillo also said he and Archival will propose next week the allocation of P8 million
for a compost pit in the north and south districts of the city.
Barangay Kalunasan has been identified as the site for the north district, and a lot at the North Reclamation Area for the north district.
The creation of the composting centers was agreed upon during a Cebu City Disaster Coordinating Council meeting last Friday.