SAN Jose del Monte, Bulacan -- Some 1,000 residents of this city held a protest rally along the Igay Provincial Road last Friday near a controversial sanitary landfill between San Jose del Monte and Norzagaray to appeal to President Rodrigo R. Duterte to immediately close the privately-operated dumpsite that had been questioned for its safety and health hazard since it started its operations.
The protesting residents, led by civic, religious and barangay officials from all over the city, expressed alarm that environmental damage from the dumpsite threatens the city’s close-to-a-million residents as they have been informed that hospital wastes from nearby towns and cities of Bulacan and Metro Manila are also being dumped or processed there.
“We ask President Duterte to close this dumpsite allowed by the previous government despite our fear that contaminants could leach into the nearby watershed area and the water drank by our city’s residents, especially the children,” said Zosimo S. Lorenzo, president of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) of San Jose del Monte and barangay chairman of Bgy. Kaypian.
The sanitary landfill between the City of San Jose del Monte and Norzagaray is being operated by a private company to dump garbage from the nearby towns of Marilao, San Miguel, Sta. Maria and Meycauayan in the province of Bulacan and also from nearby cities of Metro Manila.
San Jose del Monte residents and civic and religious leaders have protested the landfill’s operation since before it started operations because it may also affect the pipes of the La Mesa Dam aqueducts.
Despite the protests from city residents and religious and civic leaders, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) in December 2010 that allowed the landfill’s operations.
“We also appeal to the President that he order the DENR to investigate the extent of the environmental damage that has been caused by the dumpsite on our communities,” Lorenzo added.
He said that aside from the health hazard from the garbage dumped on the landfill, communities passed by the garbage trucks outside San Jose del Monte add to the vehicular traffic in the city’s streets aside from spreading their stink on the communities.
“Namamaho ang mga dinadaanan ng mga dump truck galing sa mga basurang hindi naman galing sa aming mga taga-rito sa San Jose del Monte,” Lorenzo stressed.