Naga SLF awaits DENR OK to release water to Yabo creek

By Mark A. Gomez


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Naga City government both washed their hands for the continued non-issuance of permit that will allow the latter to release the processed residual water of the San Isidro Sanitary landfill to the Yabo River.


In an interview with Engr. Julius Indionela, Engineer III of DENR on Feb. 14, he said that the DENR did not issue a permit to the city government due to absence of a pollution control officer (PCO) specifically assigned to the San Isidro Sanitary landfill operated by the city.


Indionela said the PCO in the landfill has a very important role. The PCO is in charge of inspection and investigation of sources of pollution for the purpose of protecting the environment aside from ensuring that DENR environmental regulations are consistently complied with.


As such, a PCO is required to undergo stringent training in DENR accredited training institutions, he said.


Indionela also said that once the city government has complied with the PCO requirement, he does not see any reason why the DENR will not issue a permit to discharge in favor of the city.


Meanwhile, Naga City Solid Waste Management Office (SWMO) chief, Engr. Joel P. Martin, has refuted Indionela’s claim that the city has no PCO for its sanitary landfill.


In a separate interview on Feb. 17, Martin said the SWMO has already appointed a PCO for the landfill who already completed the one-week required training at a DENR accredited institution in January this year.


According to him, the designation of this PCO who is a casual employee was not accepted by the DENR because under DENR rules, the PCO must be a regular or permanent employee.


So we replaced him and designated a PCO who is a permanent employee and sent him to attend the required training, Martin added.


Martin said that city government has also complied with the residual water standards of DENR, which are: Amonia 4mg/L; Chloride 450mg/L;COD 100mg/L; Color 150mg/L;Nitrate 14mg/L;pH 6.0-9.5;Phosphate 4mg/L; Sulfate 550mg/L; temperature 3; total suspended solids 100mg/L; total coliform 10,000 MPN/100ml, and oil and grease 5mg/L .


He confirmed that as of the moment, no DENR permit to discharge has been issued by the DENR, thus the SWMO is not releasing processed residual water to the Yabo River. Instead, the landfill’s residual water is being spilled back to the landfill’s area.


Because of this, the recirculation of the waste water in the landfill would eventually create a foul odor and affect residents of neighboring areas, Marin said.


He stressed the importance of discharging the processed residual water in the river considering that the water treatment facility of the sanitary landfill releases some 30 to 100 cubic meters of water daily.