Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) General Manager Joey Medina was dismayed over the Court of Appeals’ (CA) recent ruling on a property being used by a garbage hauling firm in Taguig City.
The CA ordered the LLDA on Aug. 29 to vacate a lakeside property along C6 Road, Taguig City and return possession of the lot to solid waste contractor IPM Construction and Development Corp. (IPM).
According to the LLDA, the injunction “was issued to stop a legitimate environmental activity.”
In a statement on Thursday, the LLDA said: “The Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases clearly states that only the Supreme Court can issue a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction against lawful actions of government agencies that enforce environmental laws or prevent violations thereof.”
Medina said the 16th Division, to which the case was raffled, “seemed to issued the resolution hastily and did not even discuss the merits of the arguments presented by LLDA, through the representation of the Office of the Solicitor General.”
He said the resolution “is just a temporary setback and LLDA will not waver in its ongoing campaign to protect and develop the vast shoreland area of Laguna Lake.”
The LLDA legal team and the Office of the Solicitor General are now preparing to file a motion for reconsideration of the CA resolution.
The CA resolution came on the heels of a petition by IPM at the appellate court after LLDA closed down the 37-hectare property being used by the garbage hauling firm as a dumping site.
According to the LLDA, IPM had illegally reclaimed off the waters of Laguna Lake and converted it into a dumpsite last June 14.
The solid waste contractor had asked the CA to issue the injunction against LLDA’s takeover of the land, as it claimed it is engaged in a legitimate business, which is the operation of a transfer station and material recovery facility.
IPM is Taguig City’s contracted garbage collector.
But the LLDA said the company had started its business without securing the proper clearances and permits from the state agency.
The LLDA said it is “mandated by Republic Act No. 4850 to issue such clearances and permits for any projects and activities within the so-called Laguna de Bay region that includes the city of Taguig.”
Earlier, the LLDA said it had discovered that “IPM stealthily began reclaiming land off the lake waters as early as the year 2012, without securing clearance from the agency nor from the Philippine Reclamation Authority, and used garbage as filling materials.”
The agency said this was confirmed when it conducted water sampling two months ago, after the closure of the property.
“Water samples collected near the reclamation area failed to conform to the Water Quality Guidelines for Class “C” waters, which is intended for fisheries and irrigation,” the LLDA said. (PNA)