Silliman University Physics professors Francisco Ablong and Dr. Paulina Aspilla of the Chemistry Department visited the Dumaguete dumpsite that continues to emit smoke in Barangay Candau-ay yesterday, together with City Administrator William Ablong.
To dump soil was the solution being considered by members of the Dumaguete City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council in their emergency meeting last week, as part of their recommendation to declare the entire city under a state of calamity so the 30percent quick response fund can be availed of.
Fumes of Dumaguete Dumpsite are toxic
Prof. Ablong said there’s danger and a possibility of an eruption in case of a leakage of the dumped materials due to very heavy concentration of the methane gas underneath. His recommendation is for the city to drive big metal pipes as many as they can, to the bottom of the Dumaguete dumpsite, so the big concentration of methane gas can be flushed out into the air. According Ablong the bigger problem is the toxic fumes from the burning plastics that contain dioxins fatal to the health of the residents.
Legal issues with state of calamity
During the special session, Batinguel Barangay Captain Nicolas Ramirez said the smoke from the dumpsite didn’t reach his barangay. Former city mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo said
“I don’t think there’s justification for the declaration of the entire city under a state of calamity. Maybe, our public officials had over-reacted and that the real purpose is to avail of funds, and avoid public bidding, but I want to give them the benefit of the doubt.”
Legal questions were earlier raised by members of the minority in the Sangguniang Panlungsod because the affected barangays are only three and could not comply with the threshold requirement of 20 percent of the total population of the city. In order to meet the 20 percent population requirement, two more barangays were added in the counting of affected residents.