• Landfill operator claims safe operation

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    THE proponent of a sanitary landfill in Bulacan claims its facility is safe and complies with environmental rules.

    Earlier, the Court of Appeals junked the appeal of town residents who were against the establishment of an engineered modern sanitary landfill in the Philippines. The case has now reached the Supreme Court.

    The petitioners led by Obando residents Maria Teresa Bondoc and Conrado Lumabas Jr. elevated their case with the High Tribunal after the appellate court declared as legal and environmentally safe the landfill of Ecoshield Development Corporation owned by former Ambassador Antonio Cabangon-Chua and his son Edgard Cabangon.

    Ecoshield in a 71-page comment asked the High Tribunal to junk the petition for review lodged by the Concerned Citizens of Obando led by Bondoc and Lumabas.

    The company stressed the petitioners are not entitled to a Temporary Environmental Protection Order.

    “The [CA] correctly held that [petitioners]failed to meet the magnitude requirement, mandated under Section 1, Rule 7 of the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases,” the comment stated.

    “The proposed landfill project need not undergo an Environmental Impact Assessment process [and]public consultations may be dispensed with, and in any event, were substantially complied with,” it added.

    In its decision on the merits, the appellate court ruled Ecoshield’s project is far much environmentally safe than other dumpsites.

    As to the reclassification of the area where the landfill is located from agricultural to commercial or industrial, Ecoshield stressed that was initiated by public respondents Sangguniang Bayan ng (local legislative branch) Obando and Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial board) of Bulacan, through the issuance of ordinances.

    The company explained “these ordinances validly and faithfully complied with the Local Government Code and the Memorandum No. 54 or the guidelines for the exercise of the Local Government Unit to reclassify lands.”

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