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DENR wants Cebu landfill closed

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CEBU CITY – Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has ordered the immediate closure of the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill in Cebu City due to its nearness to the sea.

Lopez, who was in Cebu for various activities, earlier said she supports the rehabilitation of the landfill but later changed her mind after learning that the dumpsite was near the sea.

“I did not know at first that the site was actually near the sea. If I would have known earlier, I would really have it closed. I’m not in favor of a dumpsite near the sea. With climate change causing the seas to rise, trash being dumped there and swept to the sea could cause an environmental hazard,” Lopez said.

The issue on the Inayawan landfill came to light after Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña ordered its reopening after he was elected mayor.

Councilor Joel Garganera, however, filed a petition seeking the landfill’s closure and urged Lopez to fire Environmental Management Board 7 director William Cuñado for allegedly misleading the DENR Secretary on the real situation at the landfill.

Osmeña said there is no official order yet but he is obligated to follow the law.

During the mayorship of Michael Rama, the City closed the dumpsite and delivered the garbage to a private landfill in nearby Consolacion town.

Osmeña, however, stopped the practice saying the deal was not covered by a contract. He, instead, reopened the dumpsite. (Mars W. Mosqueda, Jr.)

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