AFTER LOSS OF AWAI
LAWYER Gonzalo Duque, president of the Lyceum-Northwestern University (LNU) based in Dagupan, has called on Mayor Benjamin Lim to start looking for other possible sites for the required sanitary landfill as the 30-hectare land bought by the city in Barangay Awai, San Jacinto in 2002 under Lim’s administration for P16 million is now out of the hands of the city.
Duque said the statement of Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Raul Laluan of the Department of Agrarian Reform that Dagupan before the Sangguniang Panlungsod on April 18 effectively means the city lost the Awai land in 2003.
That year, the Department of Agrarian Reform Arbitration Board (DARAB) ordered the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Pangasinan to place the entire 30-hectare property under the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian reform Program (CARP).
The decision was made final and executory when Dagupan did not at all file a motion for reconsideration.
Mayor Benjaim S. Lim did not refute the facts in last week’s The PUNCH story quoting Laluan.
“That is why I congratulate Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez (chair of the SP) for inviting Atty. Laluan in their session. At least we now know what happened to that land already,” Duque said.
Duque lamented that other local government units in the province are seriously pursuing the construction of their sanitary landfills or finding alternatives, whereas Dagupan, the commercial and educational center of Pangasinan, does not even have anything on the drawing board.
“Mabuti pa ang San Carlos (City), gagawa na ng sarili nitong sanitary landfill and Lingayen (provincial capital) has already made a reservation to dump its garbage in the upcoming facility,” Duque said.
Duque suggests that for the meantime, Dagupan, like Lingayen, pay the set fees to dump garbage at existing sanitary landfills in Urdaneta City or in Capas, Tarlac.
WRIT OF KALIKASAN
Meanwhile, Duque is firming up his planned court case against the city government for mismanagement of the waste disposal system.
At the same time, Duque, who is also president of the Pangasinan Press Club, appealed to the public to help him gather evidence by taking photos of waste that were not properly disposed around the Bangus Capital of the World.
Duque intends to obtain a Writ of Kalikasan from the court against the city government.
“I am not filing a case that is bound to be dismissed… I hope the people will help me by taking pictures so that my job will not be hard,” Duque said.
The authenticated photos can be sent to his LNU office or the Sunday PUNCH where he contributes a weekly column.