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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, July 13, 2013
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Firm admits slow
waste collection

BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

The operations manager of Metrowaste Solidwaste Management Corp. yesterday appealed to the public for their understanding as their collection efficiency has been affected by the banning of their 10-wheeler trucks from entering the Lopez property to haul garbage at the open dumpsite in Brgy. Felisa, Bacolod City since Thursday.

Sammy Baal said the Lopez family, who owns the property, has increased the toll fees being collected from them from P75 per truck to P500 per truck effective July 1. And since Thursday, only their 6-wheeler trucks were allowed to enter the property so their collection has slowed down, he said.

They have about 15 units of 6-wheeler trucks and 12 to 15 units of 10-wheeler trucks, Baal said. Their average daily trips of 55 units had been reduced to 30 units, he said.

Baal said the mayor will be meeting with the Lopez family on Tuesday regarding the matter and they were invited to attend.

Bacolod City Administrator Rolando Villamor said that during a meeting held by Mayor Monico Puentevella Thursday, there were arrangements to allow the dumptrucks of Metrowaste to continue dumping garbage at the Lopez property until Tuesday.

He said they want to be clarified on the toll fees being collected by the Lopez family and the status of the property bought by the city from them for the sanitary landfill, as well as the unpaid balance of the property.

Villamor said he will visit the dumpsite today to see the actual condition there. The operation of an open dumpsite is now illegal and he wants to ensure that the city complies with environmental requirements.

Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya recalled that when former Mayor Evelio Leonardia returned as mayor, the dumpsite in Brgy. Mandalagan was about to be closed. So there were negotiations made with the Lopez family to transfer the dumpsite to their property in Felisa until such time that the Solidwaste Management Act will be implemented, he said.

Gasataya said the Lopez family offered their 7-hectare property to the city for its sanitary landfill. He clarified that the site of the existing open dumpsite is not owned by the city but by the Lopez family.

Leonardia had signed earlier this year a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the World Bank regarding the sanitary landfill and the closure of the old dumpsite, the total cost of which will be financed by the city and the WB.

Meanwhile, Gasataya said the 7-hectare property for the sanitary landfill was bought by the city for about P23 million and there is still a remaining balance of P3 million payable in one year.

He does not know why the payment was not completed since his term ended in 2010 but he was informed that there are requirements pending with the Commission on Audit.

Gasataya also recalled that there was a case filled before the Ombudsman involving the sale of the property but this was eventually dismissed. He pointed out that the amount paid by the city for the property was lower than the price appraised by the Appraisal Committee.*CGS

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