CA orders permanent closure of dumpsite in Baguio

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 26 2012 05:30 PM | Updated as of Aug 27 2012 01:30 AM

Irisan dumpsite to be turned into eco-friendly park

MANILA, Philippines - The Irisan dumpsite in Baguio City is now permanently closed following an amicable settlement between city officials and concerned individuals.

The Court of Appeals approved a joint motion for rendition of consent decree submitted by petitioner Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan and several other concerned individuals including National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto Cabrera and local officials of Baguio City led by its mayor Mauricio Domogan.

According to city officials, the settlement was reached after the respondents said they will not oppose the issuance of a writ of kalikasan. The writ is a legal remedy meant to protect one’s right to a healthful ecology.

A consent decree is the settlement of a case whereby a respondent agrees to act on matters, but without admitting he or she is guilty of the accusations.

The consent decree, penned by Associate Justice Ricardo Rosario, found the settlement sufficient since it is in accordance "with law, morals, public order and public policy and in order to protect the right of the people to a balance and healthful ecology."

The appellate court, therefore, dissolved the temporary protection order it issued on January 17, 2012.

A writ of continuing mandamus has been ordered in place of the temporary ruling. Under the mandamus, the appellate court directed the local government to permanently cease and desist from operating the Irisan dumpsite.

It also ordered the officials to comply with plans to turn the dumpsite into an eco-park.

The officials were also tasked to “implement and establish at the soonest possible time, a waste disposal system at a remote location which shall not be where the closed Irisan facility is situated...and, in the interim, adopt all measures that shall ensure a clean, sanitary and safe environment to the resident of the areas affected and its environs.”

The officials have also been ordered to submit a report on their compliance within six months from the issuance of the consent decree.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, on the other hand, is required to monitor the compliance of the parties involved.

Two years ago, a trash slide at the height of typhoon Mina killed six persons in Barangay Asin in Baguio. Authorities blamed the collapse of the dumpsite’s retaining wall.