SB rejects bid to host Manila's garbage
Sangguniang Bayan last week unanimously rejected a proposal from a Virac
landowner asking the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to consider
his 17-hectare lot as a dumpsite for Manila's tons of uncollected garbage.
municipal council led by Vice Mayor and presiding officer Hector A.
Sorrera adopted the recommendation of the Committee on Environmental
Protection that the request of Palta Big landowner Geronimo Z. Gurrobat
for the SB to allow MMDA to visit the proposed landfill or dumpsite be
denied. "Even other local governments in the country are rejecting
the idea that their areas be made Manila's dumpsite, so why should we
allow such a crazy proposal?," Sorrera told the Tribune last Friday.
now controversial proposal came out after the municipal council received a
letter from Gurrobat last Jan. 19, 2001 asking permission from the august
body "to let the Metro Manila Development Authority visit the
proposed landfill or dumpsite which I offered to them... whether said site
is feasible or not as a dumpsite per pertinent laws or rules and
appeared that Gurrobat had sent a handwritten letter to the MMDA through
the "Office of the Mayor, Makati City" dated Jan. 17, proposing
that a 17-hectare lot he owns "serve as a landfield (sic) or dumpsite
to resolve the garbage problem we are facing at present."
said that the land is "totally empty/vacant with no residents/houses
around and assuring that it will not affect the city itself not even the
He attached a sketch of the exact location of his proposed dumpsite and a Tax Declaration, assigning one Emily Gurrobat, with Manila phone number 932-19-76, as his contact person. According to the sketch, the proposed dumpsite incorporates three creeks and lowland areas surrounded by four hills.
The report prepared by the Committee on Environmental Protection chaired by Kag. Roy V. Laynes stated that while it has no jurisdiction over the matter of a visit by the MMDA to the proposed landfill owned by a private person as it needs no permission from the Sanggunian, it took into account Gurrobat's proposal to the MMDA in rejecting the request, considering its adverse effects on the local environment and the health of the constituents.
Committee members Paul A. Sumalde and Arsenio T. Romero joined Laynes in the committee's unanimous rejection of the request. The other two members - councilors Rosie P. Olarte and Marcelino M. Sorra - were absent during the Jan. 30 committee hearing.
In an interview with the Tribune, Kag. Laynes remarked that the MMDA would be foolhardy to favorably consider Gurrobat's proposal, considering Virac's distance from Metro Manila and the small area of the proposed dumpsite, since Manila's trash would require more than 50 hectares alone.
He also said that the method of transporting the garbage by barge would face enormous difficulties as the fickle weather here and the notoriously rough and treacherous seas in San Bernardino Strait between Samar and the Bicol peninsula could result in the barges sinking to the bottom of the sea and its toxic load scattering to poison man and marine life.