Dumpsite Fire in Dumaguete
After toxic smoke was released from the dumpsite fire from the dump pit in Dumaguete, the Dumaguete City Council declared 5 Barangays under the state of calamity last Saturday, 16. April 2016.
With a population of this 5 Barangays of over 30.000 the city can declare the state of calamity. This is one important requirement to get access to the automatic appropriation to use the Quick Respond Fund (QRF), which is part of the calamity budget.
Environment Councilor Dan Teves Leon declared, that the approved calamity fund will be at first used to augment in the mobilization and evacuation of the people living around the area. The budget will be used to purchase sand and gravel to cover the area and for the heavy equipment rentals.
Dumping Sand is not enough
City Administrator William Ablong visited the garbage dumpsite that continues to emit smoke in Barangay Candau-ay yesterday, together with Silliman University Physics professors Francisco Ablong and Dr. Paulina Aspilla .
According to Prof. Ablong is a possibility of an eruption in case of a leakage of the dumped materials due to very heavy concentration of the methane gas underneath. However, he bigger problem is the toxic fumes from the burning plastics that contain dioxins fatal to the health of the residents. This can be minimized when the methane gas is removed.
Therefore, his suggestion is to drive big metal pipes as many as they can, to the bottom of the garbage dumpsite so the big concentration of methane gas can be flushed out into the air and may lessen the possibility of ignition.
City continues dumping sand
City Administrator Ablong stated that dumping of soil will continue because the city is working on a controlled dumpsite before it is eventually closed as soon as the city can already identify an area where a sanitary land fill can be establish. The estimated volume of soil to be dumped is 6,400 cubic meters while the total cost of the project is P4,380,000 funds.
Legal questions are raised
Some members in the Sangguniang Panlungsod doubted the juristification to declare the state of calamity. As mentioned earlier, 5 barangays were, according to th city council affected, where in fact there are only three. This would be below the threshold of 20% of the city’s population, which is needed to gain immediate access to the Quick Respond Fund (QRF).