Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella yesterday requested the Lopez family and Metrowaste Solidwaste Management Corp. to agree on the tipping fee being charged by the landowners to Metrowaste for the use of their roadlot leading to the open dumpsite in Brgy. Felisa, Bacolod City, so as not to affect the hauling of garbage.
Puentevella said that the moment the city will be affected, they will have to come in so he wants both parties to settle the matter.
City Administrator Rolando Villamor also requested the Lopez family, owner of the property, not to close the dumpsite because the Mayor does not want the city to use its police power in order to protect public welfare, security, health and public safety, during an inquiry yesterday at the Bacolod City Government Center.
Roy Lopez said it is not the intention of their family to close the dumpsite since they only wanted to be heard.
The collection of garbage had slowed down after the Lopez family increased the tipping fee being charged to Metrowaste from P75 to P500 per truck effective July 1, which Sammy Baal, the operations manager of Metrowaste, found excessive.
Baal said if the city and the Lopez family have differences concerning the roadlot, they are not part of it because their obligation is only to haul garbage, based on its contract with the city.
Metrowaste has agreed to undertake the solidwaste collection and disposal services of Bacolod City (from March to November) with an award of contract of P71.8 million, which is below the Approved Budget of Contract of P72 million.
General Services Office head Gerome Solinap pointed out that the city has not yet paid Metrowaste the P71.8 million which came from the 20 percent Development Fund. The actual payment will be based on Metrowaste’s volume of collection every month, he said.
During the hearing, the Lopez family (representing Dynasty Agricultural Corporation) expressed their gratitude that they have been heard by the city and that they believe it is high time for them to collect its remaining balance of P3.8 million for the purchase of their 7-hectare property for the sanitary landfill which they sold for P23.8 million.
The matter was appealed before the Commission on Audit Region 6, after the commission found the amount of P23.8 million to be excessive.
Puentevella said he will invite the A.L. Salazar Construction, Inc., contractor for the sanitary landfill, which has a contract price of P32.8 million, in the next hearing in order to be clarified about its obligation to the city. He also wants to be clarified on how the P56 million was spent by the previous administration on the dumpsite.
He said the dumpsite has no closure because there is no money allocated for it yet.
Bacolod City Water District general manager Julie Ann Carbon said they have five deep wells in Felisa and the nearest is about 1.4 kilometers from the open dumpsite and the sanitary landfill but this is not being used.
Carbon said that in order to ensure that they have safe and quality water, they conduct bacteriological surveys every week and every year they conduct tests for heavy metals.
The public hearing was attended by representatives of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Public Service, the Appraisal team, City Engineer’s Office, Anti-Baha Alliance, and other officials of the city.*CGS