No looming garbage crisis in Luzon–Lorenzana

Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Chairman Delfin N. Lorenzana allayed fears of a looming garbage crisis in Central Luzon, pointing out the presence of three operational facilities that may serve as alternatives once the contract for the operations of the Kalangitan sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac expires. 

During an interview with Net25, Chairman Lorenzana said concerns of a possible garbage crisis are unfounded, and assured local government units (LGUs) of the availability of alternative waste management facilities in Pampanga with more than enough capacity to address their waste disposal requirements. 

Iyong mga LGUs na gumagamit sa Kalangitan (landfill), wag po kayo mag-alala, meron po kayong matatapunan. Tatlo ‘yan…Meron po tayong tatlong buwan at kalahati para ayusin ang paglilipat ng pagtatapunan from Kalangitan to these three facilities,” he said.

(To those LGUs who use the Kalangitan (landfill), please do not worry as there are facilities where you can dispose of your garbage. There are three…We have three and a half months to arrange the transition from Kalangitan to these three facilities.)

These facilities include the sanitary landfill operated by Eco Protect Management Corp., with a total capacity of 2,500 metric tons (MT) per day; the sanitary landfill of Florida Blanca Enviro Park Project Corp., with a capacity of 3,500 MT per day; and the materials recovery facility recently opened by Prime Integrated Waste Solutions Inc., with a capacity of 5,000 MT per day. 

Sa sumatotal ay 11,000 MT na ‘yong capacity ng tatlong landfill sa Central Luzon, mostly in Pampanga. Ngayon ang Metro Clark, ang average capacity ay 2,500 MT. So kayang tugunan ng tatlong existing facilities ‘yong mga LGUs na nakapaligid sa Clark,” Chairman Lorenzana said. 

(In total, the capacity is already 11,000 MT for these three facilities in Central Luzon, mostly in Pampanga. Metro Clark has an average capacity of 2,500 MT. So these three facilities are enough to service the LGUs surrounding Clark.)

The BCDA chairman also clarified that there is no provision in the contract between Clark Development Corp. (CDC) and Metro Clark Waste Management Corp. (MCWMC) for a renewal or extension. 

According to the legal opinion of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, the BCDA’s statutory counsel, the contract between CDC and MCWMC cannot be extended even on an ad interim basis as such extension is considered a material deviation, which would violate the Build-Operate-Transfer Law. 

In the meantime, the BCDA will study and benchmark successful projects in other countries to learn how to rezone and rehabilitate landfill sites. 

The BCDA is also in talks with LGUs to assist them in exploring alternative solutions to avoid disruption of waste management services.

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