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Subic seeks option to Kalangitan landfill closure

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines — With the planned closure this October of its waste depository in Capas, Tarlac, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is now looking for options on how to dispose of tons and tons of garbage generated daily by industrial and commercial establishments here. 

Amethya dela Llana, manager of the SBMA Ecology Center, said the scheduled closure of the Kalangitan sanitary landfill facility (SLF) this October will dramatically impact business operations here, as well as the well-maintained natural environment that boosts a thriving local tourism industry.

“It will be a huge problem, not only for locators, but also for the entire Subic Bay Freeport Zone, including residents, the SBMA, and other government offices as well,” Dela Llana said on Tuesday.

“We produce about 60 tons of garbage per day, so you can just imagine how these will pile up when there’s no place for disposal,” she added.

The Kalangitan landfill, which is operated by the Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation (MCWMC), takes in some one million tons of wastes for processing each year. The wastes come from special economic zones like Subic and Clark free ports, parts of Metro Manila, as well as hundreds of local government units in Central and Northern Luzon: 32 LGUs in Pangasinan, 24 in Nueva Ecija, 16 in Pampanga, 12 in Bulacan, eight in Zambales, and six each in Bataan and Benguet.

MCWMC also processes hospital and toxic wastes at Kalangitan for thousands of hospitals in the surrounding communities.

However, the Bases Conversion and Development Agency (BCDA) and its subsidiary Clark Development Corporation (CDC), said they won’t renew the 25-year service contract of MCWMC for the operation of Kalangitan when it expires this coming October.

“We will have to look for an alternative,” said Dela Llana. “The SBMA is exploring different options right now, including looking at alternative service providers. Nevertheless, we expect Metro Clark to look for another landfill if, indeed, Kalangitan shall be closed in October.”

“At the moment, we leave it to Metro Clark to look for a solution,” she added.

SBMA Ecology Center figures show that Subic’s industrial and