Mt. Province town defies SC order to close dump near river | Inquirer News

Mt. Province town defies SC order to close dump near river

/ 10:45 PM June 28, 2013

BAGUIO CITY—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said a Mt. Province town ordered by the Supreme Court to improve its waste facility has failed to heed the order and continues to dump garbage near Chico River.

The Court of Appeals (CA), which is executing an Oct. 17, 2012, Writ of Kalikasan imposed by the high court on Bontoc town, required town officials to decommission the Toytoyokan Lagangew dump in Barangay Caluttit, which is about 100 meters from Chico River.

It also required the town to rehabilitate the dump in six months, following a 2012 environmental lawsuit filed by a Kalinga nongovernment organization that blamed the dump for river pollution that reached farmlands in the nearby province.


None of the conditions were fulfilled, said Clarence Baguilat, DENR Cordillera director. He said some Bontoc officials explained that work on the dump has been delayed by an infrastructure ban imposed for the May 13 elections. New officials are also taking over in July.


He said the DENR has reported the matter to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje. The agency was ordered by the CA to oversee the dump’s shutdown and cleanup.

“In fact, even the director of the National Solid Waste Management Commission went to Bontoc to monitor and offer advice to the local government [about closing the dump],” he said.

“The tarpaulin we put up at the dump that says, ‘No Dumping,’ is also missing,” he said.

The town’s outgoing officials did not reply to telephone calls made by the Inquirer.

But in a November 2012 letter, outgoing Mayor Pascual Sacgaca said the dump has been the town’s only recourse due to the difficulty of finding a landfill site. He said a concrete barrier protects Chico River from garbage that may spill from the dump.

In Ilocos Norte, the DENR and the Department of Public Works and Highways announced plans to install nine color-coded garbage containers from Badoc, the province’s gateway, to the northernmost part of Pagudpud town.


The new plans followed the widening of road shoulders and the installation of flowering plants along the province’s major thoroughfares.

Scattered plastic bags and baby diapers have become familiar sights along Ilocos Norte roads, said Juan de los Reyes, provincial environment and natural resources officer.

The garbage containers, each properly labeled to hold biodegradable and nonbiodegradable trash, would be set 50 kilometers apart.

De los Reyes said Ilocos Norte has stepped up its solid waste management campaign through these programs to increase local government compliance with the law banning open dump.

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Only Laoag City and Nueva Era town out of Ilocos Norte’s 21 towns and two cities operate sanitary landfills. Vincent Cabreza and Leilana Adriano, Inquirer Northern Luzon

TAGS: Chico River, dump site, environment, Garbage, Mt. Province

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