Bacolod City Administrator Rolando Villamor yesterday said the city can exercise police powers if the Lopez family continues to prevent segregated waste from being dumped into the sanitary landfill in Brgy. Felisa, Bacolod City.
Teodoro Lopez III, president of the Dynasty Agri-Aqua Corporation, has demanded payment of the balance of P3.8 million from the City Government of Bacolod for the property currently used as the site of the sanitary landfill.
Villamor said that Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella could not pay the balance because the Commission on Audit has disallowed about P5 million out of the P20 million amount paid by the city as down payment for the property for reason of being overpriced.
The city had paid the Lopez family P20 million out of the P23.8 million property. But they cannot pay the balance of P3.8 because of the COA disallowance, he said.
Due to the apparent disagreement, the Lopez family padlocked the sanitary landfill on October 2, he said.
Villamor said he considered the act malicious, arbitrary and illegal and requested the Lopez family to remove the padlock at the main gate of the sanitary landfill so the city can dump segregated waste coming from the three major public markets.
He said the representatives of the Lopez family met recently with Puentevella but the Mayor told them that the city cannot pay them because of the COA restriction.
Villamor said the city has a right over the property because it had already paid a substantial amount and also spent P32 million to establish the sanitary landfill in the area.
But they are giving the owners a chance to realize what they have done. But if they continue to padlock the main gate, the Mayor has police powers to do what is necessary, because the garbage collection of Bacolod is at stake, he said.
Villamor said they have started the segregation program in the three public markets.
Executive Assistant Ma. Fe Tresfuentes said that she, together with Mr. Geronca, personnel assigned in the dumpsite, and the team from the City Mayor’s Office, met with the vendors and supervisors from the major markets to encourage them to start segregation at source.
The waste characterization survey conducted last year during the previous administration showed 60 percent of the garbage generated in Bacolod are biodegradable and the bulk of these are waste coming from the markets, she said.
Geronca said the garbage about to be dumped at the sanitary landfill was already segregated. When they tried to conduct a test run at the sanitary landfill for the city-wide waste segregation, they were surprised to find the main entrance to the dumpsite padlocked.
Lopez said the property in question is still registered under the name of their corporation.
He said they would be more than willing to discuss with Puentevella new terms to amicably settle this potentially volatile situation in the spirit of nationalism and on the eve of the MassKara Festival.*CGS