City of Love Iloilo, The Calajunan Smoky Mountain



Iloilo City also known as City Of Love has been really rising this year’s structural outputs. But have you ever wondered where the remains of waste were dump? Due to many aspects of advancement and control we can’t imagine the garbage that we landfill for so many years. Yet, up until now we could always see a perfect view in our own backyard that we think it’s just a mountain but a pillar of garbage that standsover 16 feet.

According to its neighbors, they can’t even live the fact that this garbage can stand that tall.  Clearly they would always complain and they experienced a disgusting smell from time to time. the Calajunan dumping site in mandurriao is one of the problematic issues that haven’t been solve.

Tired of the government’s inaction, a group of concerned citizens in Mandurriao district has filed a mandamus case against the Iloilo City government, Sangguniang Panglungsod, Department of Environment and Natural Resources-VI, and Department of Health-VI to compel them to implement the provision of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 that requires all local government units to convert an open dumpsite into a sanitary landfill.

According to the Iloilo City government, they will put up a temporary treatment pool at the Calajunan dumpsite in Mandurriao, Iloilo as part of its mitigating measures to protect residents around the dump.

otherng vernment’s inaction onissues that havent iseases ly Mayor Jerry Treñas gave the commitment during a conference at the sala of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 28 Judge Lodia Diestro-Maputol Tuesday at the Hall of Justice.

The conference is relative to the petition for temporary restraining order (TRO) and injunction filed by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Iloilo to stop the City Hall from disposing garbage in the dump. The IBP, led by its president Marven Daquilanea, Norberto Posecion and Hector Teodosio, claimed that the continued use of the dump violates the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

During the conference, Treñas said the city government will put up a temporary water treatment pool at the Calajunan in 15 days. The pool will treat water from the dumpsite until the City Hall has finished the bidding process of the water treatment plant to be installed in the area.

The treatment pool will process seepage or leachate from the dump before it is thrown into the nearby Dungon Creek. In return, Judge Maputol will not issue a TRO against the City Hall but it will continue to hear the plea for an injunction against the continued use of the dumpsite. Prosecutor Jeremy Bionat, one of the petitioners in the case, said the water treatment plant is one of the urgent installations that must be put up in the dump.

“There are 22 violations committed by the city government which we cited in the petition and water treatment is one of them,” Bionat said. The IBP is at the forefront of compelling the City Government to comply with environmental laws by filing mandamus suits and petitions for injunctions.

The lawyers’ group is also set to file a mandamus case against the City Hall to compel it to clean the Iloilo River. The Department of Health (DoH) recommended the closure of more than 30 water wells in Brgy. Calajunan, Mandurriao, Iloilo for Escherichia coli (E. coli) contamination.

Dr. Glenn Alonsabe, DoH regional epidemiologist, said water wells in the village are contaminated because of the presence of the city dumpsite. Alonsabe their study show that the wells are tainted with E. coli bacteria which came from human waste. E. coli is a gram negative bacterium commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded animals.

Harmful E. coli strains produce a powerful toxin that can cause severe illness. The bacteria can be found on a small number of cattle farms and can live in the intestines of healthy cattle. E. coli infection often causes severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. However, sometimes the infection causes non-bloody diarrhea or no symptoms at all.  Usually there is little or no fever, and the illness goes away in 5-10 days.

In some persons, particularly children under 5 years of age and the elderly, the infection can also cause a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney failure. Alonsabe said other harmful bacteria that contaminated the wells can cause diarrhea, typhoid fever and hepatitis in Calajunan residents.

Punong Barangay Carmencita Meniel of Calajunan said there are 38 wells in their village “but these are used for washing clothes, not for drinking.” Meniel said some of their residents don’t want to close their wells because they have no alternative water sources.

Atty. Hector Teodosio of the Global Legal Action on Climate Change said they are planning to sue the city government if it fails to convert the dumpsite into a sanitary landfill. Teodosio said they are concerned with leachate or the liquid that drains from the dumpsite. He said the liquid is affecting water sources in Calajunan. Last summer, the DoH’s Hospital, Environmental and Occupational Health division reported that 4 out of 6 deep wells in Iloilo province tested positive for E. coli contamination.

Although this act is put on hold, the disease will gradually affect the communities in mandurriao because of the wastes and its utterly disgusted smell. But for our own risk we suffer its consequences. By now we could never stop garbage but we can lessen its rapid blowout before it can harm many lives.





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