DUMAGUETE CITY – Former City Administrator William Ablong asserted that the price of the lot for the proposed sanitary landfill is above-board and that the negotiations were all done in good faith.
Ablong, who is currently the City Agriculturist and member of the Technical Working Group tasked to close the 50-year old dumpsite in Barangay Candau-ay and to establish a sanitary landfill, said that the original price of the 3.5 hectare industrial lot in the same barangay was supposed to be P650.00 per square meter.
But after a spirited negotiations between Ablong, Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, businessmen George Uymatiao and the Divinigracias, the amount was lowered to just P615.00 per square meter considering that taxes will have to be paid.
Ablong stressed that despite insinuation by a radio reporter that the cost of the lot could have been as low as P450 per square meter was simply untrue and that Mayor Remollo was only negotiating terms that will be advantageous to the government and in the best interest of the public.
In fact, the estimate of the Appraisal Committee was much higher by over a hundred per square meter based on other factors including the prevailing market value of the property.
Uymatiao was also interested of the lot, which sits adjacent to his own 5 hectare property, but aware and motivated by his desire to help the city in its quest to find a lot for a sanitary landfill to close the old dump site, the businessman asked Ablong and Mayor Remollo to inspect the property and negotiate with the owner.
Ablong said that the initial resistance of some residents to the proposed sanitary landfill is understandable due to some fears but he is confident that they will eventually accept the project as the appropriate solution to manage the city’s trash.
Mayor Remollo has maintained that sanitary landfills are safe, environmentally sound and the legal means to manage solid waste in accordance to the law even as the administration is seriously studying the waste to energy model as a long term solution.
Ablong noted that for several months the city has been scouting for areas in the neighboring towns amid popular opposition but failed to find a suitable lot hence forcing the city to look for its own within its territory.
The previous administrations received notices of closure of the Candau-ay dumpsite in 2007, 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016 but failed to responsibly implement the orders of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
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