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At least nine barangays in Cebu City have not complied with the law on the handling of solid waste, according to a study conducted by law students. Freshman law students of the University of Cebu (UC) found that only barangay Luz had fully complied with the provisions of Republic Act No. 9003, otherwise known as The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2001.

The barangays that have not complied with the law are barangays Bulacao, Mambaling, Inayawan, Apas, Kamputhaw, Ermita, Capitol Site, Guadalupe and Tisa.

The law students organized by environmentalist lawyer Gloria Ramos submitted to Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama on Friday the continuation of their study on the status of the top 10 Cebu City barangays cited by Philippine Earth Justice Center (PEJC) as having the largest volume of garbage dumped at the Inayawan landfill in the last two years.

Barangay Luz has already been taken out of the list after it met the requirements of RA 9003. “Mayor Rama said he would use the data gathered by the law students and would take actions based on it,” Ramos said. “Our students followed a certain matrix on how to go about the study. Although it was already found out that other barangays started with the implementation with the law, still they fall short of what was required of them to do,” Ramos told CDN.

In June, another study will be submitted to the Office of the Mayor, and if the barangays still fall short of what was expected of them, then cases will be filed against them. “Based on our study, most of the barangays fell short on the material recovery facitity (MRF) and on composting,” said April Rose Yosores, 25, a first-year student of the UC. Although they found out that most of the MRFs are already under construction, the delay is already starting to become a concern.

The provisions of RA 9003 were supposed to have been fully implemented in 2008. Christine Nejudne, 25, was assigned to study barangay Capitol Site. “When we had our study at Capitol Site, we got a chance to go to the Inayawan landfill and what we saw there was compelling enough to urge these barangays to seriously implement what the law has obliged them to do,” Nejudne told .

Based on their study, the Inayawan landfill is already posing a serious threat to the health condition and safety of the people living within and around the dumpsite since it is already filled beyond its allowed capacity.

Ramos said the distribution of the waste shredders would ease the continuous rise of the waste being thrown into the landfill. Under the leadership of Councilors Nida Cabrerra and Edu Rama, the city has already distributed waste shredders to these barangays in an effort to reduce the waste thrown into the landfill.