Clark waste firm ready to defy closure order for Tarlac landfill

Clark waste firm ready to defy closure order for Tarlac landfill

Clark waste firm ready to defy closure order for Tarlac landfill

SAFE DISPOSAL The engineered sanitary landfill of the Metro Clark Waste Management Corp. in Barangay Kalangitan, Capas, Tarlac, caters to 120 local governments and hospitals in Luzon,
and the only facility accredited to accept treated hazardous wastes. —METRO CLARK WASTE MANAGEMENT CORP.

CLARK FREEPORT — The Metro Clark Waste Management Corp. (MCWMC) announced on Thursday it would continue accepting waste in its 100-hectare landfill in Capas, Tarlac, in defiance of the order of the state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and Clark Development Corp. (CDC) to close the facility in October.

“We will continue operating,” MCWMC executive vice president Victoria Gaetos told reporters at a press briefing here. Reading from a statement, she said: “We want to assure the public that there is no issue with the continuation of our lease, and the rumors about the lease expiring are unfounded.”

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Gaetos clarified that what was expiring this October was the exclusivity clause in the service agreement with locators at the Clark freeport zone.

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As for the lease contract that it signed with the CDC in 1999, the duration and expiration dates have not been fixed, she said.

Nevertheless, Gaetos said MCWMC is shielded by Republic Act No. 7652 and Executive Order No. 429, which both protect investors in the country by giving them 50 years of operations and a 25-year renewal.

BOT law

MCWMC, a joint consortium of Filipino and German investors, operates the country’s first and most advanced German-engineered sanitary landfill within the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) in Capas town, Tarlac province.

It services thousands of businesses operating in CSEZ and the Subic freeport and over 100 local government units in Central and Northern Luzon, including Baguio City. BCDA and CDC officials, in ordering the closure of the landfill, cited the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel’s legal opinion that extending the MCWMC contract beyond October 2024 would be against the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) law.

The CDC said it also inquired with the Environmental Management Bureau about the drawdown plan for MCWMC to allow the company to recoup its investments.

However, Gaetos said the BOT law was never cited in the lease contract. The firm is now in its 25th year.

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MCWMC has gone to the Angeles City Regional Trial Court’s Branch 114 to reform the contract, fix the period, and compel the CDC to perform its obligations to the company.

READ: BCDA: No looming garbage crisis in Central Luzon

Holger Holts, MCWMC technical director, said the three new waste facilities in the towns of Porac and Floridablanca, both in Pampanga, are “insufficient” in handling the daily volume of waste in the local areas in terms of size.

The Kalangitan landfill has filled up 36 hectares and has readied 39 ha to take waste from 120 local governments and hospitals.

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Since it is the only accredited landfill to store treated medical waste, closing it would have no place for alternative storage. “We will continue until the case is pending. If they insist, we will file a TRO (temporary restraining order),” said lawyer Hans Roger Luna, MCWMC counsel.

TAGS: Clark, Landfill, Tarlac

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