Brgy. Liminangcong, TAYTAY — Local officials here have agreed to resolve their differences and work together to remove and cleanup an old garbage dump that has already become a serious health concern among locals.
Residents of Sitio Pangulatan in Barangay Liminangcong have been complaining about the garbage dump site in their area that is supposed to have been closed as early as a decade ago in compliance with the national law on solid waste management.
Tita Celedonio, a concerned local resident, told Palawan News on Tuesday, that the health of many locals, including children, has been affected because of the pollution caused by the open dumpsite.
“Mahigit sampung taon na kaming napeperwesyo ng tambak-tambak na basura na yan dahil sa baho at halo-halong basura ng barangay na dito na sa amin itinatambak. Iyong langaw, lamok, baho dito talaga sa amin malapit. Madalas po nagkakasakit ang mga bata sa baba namin katulad ng hika dahil narin sa mga basura na yan,” Celedonio said.
After an earlier agreement on how to address the problem failed to materialize, both the local barangay and the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) blamed each other for the situation.
Barangay officials claimed that the MENRO office had not provided them with adequate support in relocating their waste disposal site, while the latter accused the local government of failing to deliver on their task of finding a proper location.
Henry Viray, also a local resident, expressed concern that the bad smell from the dumpsite is discouraging tourists from coming to enjoy their beaches.
“Kapag dadaan ka dyan ay maamoy mo talaga (mabaho), iyon ang problema. Ang unang factor dyan ay maaapektuhan ang mga turista, kaya mas maganda talagang maalis yan at ihanap ng ibang location, iyong hindi makakaperwisyo ba,” Viray said.
Jojie Laurente, representative of the MENRO, admitted that their office and local barangay have a shared responsibility for the problem.
“Actually nag-usap kami ng brgy. officials particularly the brgy. kapitan at may pinagkasunduan kami na hindi pwedeng ipagpatuloy na doon magtatapon ng basura sa gilid ng kalsada , at sabi ko magtayo sila ng MRF nila para makuha namin at least one a month kaso nga lang hindi nangyari iyon dahil sa hirap ng kalsada at hindi naggawa ang aming napagkasunduan, tapos halos isa, dalawang truck lang ang nagagamit namin noon. Tinamad narin kami dahil hindi sila tumupad sa usapan,” Laurente said.
Meanwhile, Liminangcong barangay captain Lanie Abogado, insisted that resolving the problem has always been their priority.
“Priority namin yan, kaya lang wala talaga kaming makuhang lupa,” Abogado stated.
Abogado said the problem would not have gotten worse if the municipality had been sending its garbage trucks to the dumpsite.
“Ang usapan talaga, i-segregate namin ang basura at kukunin nila (MENRO) sa amin, ang problema kulang ang truck nila, after ng usap hindi na nagpakita,” Abogado said.
“Wala tayong magagawa kung iyon ang pagtingin niya sa nasabing dump site (bagra or madumi) , pero kung ganun dapat tinulungan nya nalang kami, dapat hindi niya kami pinabayaan,” she added.
According to Celedonio, it takes two to three times a week when the barangay throws their trash in the area.
The MENRO and local barangay officials have set up several meetings to resolve the case and create an action plan.