SC grants plea to stop Payatas landfill operation, expansion | Inquirer News
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SC grants plea to stop Payatas landfill operation, expansion

/ 03:33 PM September 07, 2015

THE Supreme Court has reversed its March 24, 2015 decision dismissing the petition to stop the operation and expansion of the Payatas Sanitary Landfill in Quezon City.

In a Sept. 1, 2015 resolution, the high court granted the motion for reconsideration filed by various homeowners organization in Payatas.

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“The Court resolved to grant the motion for reconsideration; reinstate the petition; issue a writ of kalikasan against the respondents,” the high court said.

The high court also referred the case to the Court of Appeals to hear the case and to accept a return of the writ by respondent Quezon City government through Mayor Herbert Bautista, OIC-Regional Director of the Environmental Management Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources Engr. Vizminda Osorio, DENR Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Commission Eligio Ildefonso, OIC-Environmental Impact Assessment and Management Division Wilfredo Rafanan, Frederika C. Rentoy, head of Quezon City Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department and Col. Jameel Jaymalin, Chief of the Payatas Operations Group.

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Respondents were given 10-days upon receipt of the resolution to submit a return of the writ.

A writ of kalikasan is a legal remedy which sought to protect the public’s constitutional right to a healthy environment.

Last March 24, the high court dismissed the petition filed by eight homeowners associations and two residents from Quezon City and Rizal province “for being incomplete in form and insufficient in substance.”

The petitioners said the landfill, including its expansion, now occupies more than half of the original Lupang Pangako resettlement area: 7.1 hectares out of the total 12-hectare Payatas B, Lot-76 community.

The petitioners pointed out that the daily dumping at the site has exceeded the allowed limit of 800 tons of garbage—one of the conditions set in the environmental compliance certificate granted by the DENR-Laguna Lake Development Authority for the landfill’s operations in 2006.

They said the threat of lead poisoning could seriously affect the brain due to heavy metals from the garbage dump.

It pointed to the other dangers this posed to the health of the residents, “including respiratory diseases, gastroenteritis and cancer, among many others.”

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The petition also cited how leachate from the dump travels to other Metro Manila waterways, affecting farmlands.

However, the high court, in its March 24 ruling said petitioners failed to present evidence to prove their claim.

“The magnitude of environmental damage required by the Rules on the Writ of Kalikasan has not been met as no evidence has been shown prima facie to support any such claim of damage…Finally, the Court also noted the lack of affidavits, scientific studies or documentary evidence to support the claimed environmental damage, as required by the Rules on the Writ of Kalikasan,” the high court said. Tetch Torres-Tupas

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TAGS: Payatas Dumpsite, Quezon City, Supreme Court, writ of kalikasan
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