Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya—The Office of the Ombudsman has suspended Mayor Flaviano Dizon Balgos here for allowing the use of a dumpsite despite the implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act or Republic Act 9003.
RA 9003, signed into law in 2000, prohibited the use of open dumpsites for solid wastes and encouraged local governments to convert them into controlled dumps, three years after its effectivity.
Balgos was slapped with a one-year suspension without pay for gross neglect of duty by then-Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales in a decision dated April 20, 2018.
The decision came after the local government failed to completely close the 3,500 square meter open dumpsite in sitio Paungan, barangay Aliaga here.
The case was filed by the Special Panel of Environmental Ombudsman Investigators against Balgos, Vice Mayor Arnel Hernandez and Sangguniang Bayan members Arnel Duldulao, Mark Joel Pablo Balgos, Gregorio Bravo Allas,Jr., Antonio Corales Ngabbu, Sharon Guiao Tolentino, Aira Mae Siruno Viloria and Lucito Agaran.
The Environmental Ombudsman inspection team on Nov. 17, 2016 found out that several pickers were found scavenging over the mounds of mixed garbage in the dumpsite in Aliaga.
A report of the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau in Nueva Vizcaya dated April 7, 2015 also disclosed that the dumpsite had been reopened.
Morales, however, dismissed the case against Hernandez and the municipal council members for their noteworthy actions, such as authorizing Balgos to secure a loan from the Philippine Veterans Bank for the construction of a sanitary landfill.
In July 2014, the SB also issued a resolution authorizing Balgos to apply, negotiate and contract a loan with the Land Bank of the Philippines for the same purpose, and for the purchase of a maintenance equipment for the landfill.
“These legislative actions evinced a serious intent on the part of the SB to comply with Section 37 of RA 9003, especially considering that the same were done prior to the intervention of this Office,” the decision read.