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โ€œ๐‹๐ž๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐๐ž๐œ๐ข๐๐ž ๐จ๐ง ๐Š๐š๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ญ๐š๐งโ€™๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ญ๐žโ€— ๐Œ๐ž๐ญ๐ซ๐จ ๐‚๐ฅ๐š๐ซ๐ค ๐–๐š๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž ๐Œ๐š๐ง๐š๐ ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ

Metro Clark Management Corporation (MCWMC), the operator and lessee of the 100 hectare engineered Kalangitan Sanitary Landfill in Tarlac, has filed a case in an Angeles City court to seek judicial intervention that may help prevent a massive garbage crisis in Central and Northern Luzon regions.

In a press conference held at Quest Hotel inside Clark Freeport, MCWMC asserts that the companyโ€™s contract of lease and services is not expiring in October and โ€œit is now up to the Courts to decide on the issueโ€.

โ€œIt is neither the Bases Conversion Development Authority nor Clark Development Corporation  (CDC) who will decide what happens now. We leave it all to the Courts to resolve this issue once and for allโ€ said MCWMC Executive Vice-President Vicky Gaetos.

โ€œOur contract with CDC has two components: a lease and a service contract. The Service contract is expiring in October, but the Lease is NOT EXPIRING. In fact, we have 50 years under RA 7652โ€, Gaetos said.

โ€œThe Lease contract grants us use of the 100-hectares for an integrated waste management center (Article II, section 1 of the contract). Since the lease is not expiring, we can continue to dispose at the landfill, even after 2024โ€ she explained.

Gaetos said that Metro Clark filed the case so that CDC will accurately reflect the 50-year lease, as was originally agreed upon by the parties at the time of the signing, and which is consistent with the law (RA 7652).

โ€œAs they have not been responsive to our request for years, we have filed for Reformation of Instrument, so that the contract accurately reflect the intention of the parties, and Fixing of Period, so the court can determine what is the correct period for the Leaseโ€, she added.

โ€œWe are supported by lawโ€, Gaetos declared  as she cited RA 7652, or the โ€œInvestors Lease Actโ€  and  E.O429 passed by then President Fidel V. Ramos in 1997.

RA7652 was passed in 1993, and allows foreign investors to enter into long term leases of land for productive investments. Meanwhile, E.O. 429 passed by President Ramos in 1997, granted the same privilege to local investors. It allows investors to lease lands for a period not exceeding 50 years, with option for one time renewal of 25 years.

The German consortium that made the investment to construct the Integrated Waste Management Center, were attracted by RA 7652 and invested on that basis, with the understanding that they would get the 50 year lease. 

โ€œBoth parties, ourselves and CDC at the time the contract was signed, were in understanding that this was a long term lease that gave us up to 50 years,โ€ said MCWMโ€™s Chairman and Technical Director Engineer Holger Holst. โ€œIn fact, a detailed BCDA Master Plan from 2017 clearly shows the Kalangitan landfill present there for multiple phases. Section 4.9 entitled โ€œSolid Waste Managementโ€ clearly shows that the facility is there until the year 2065,โ€ continued Holst.โ€

โ€œI think CDC, BCDA and the DENR should really look into the feasibility of the identified alternative facilities being able to take over the volume of the regionโ€™s waste in October,โ€ said Holst. โ€œThe capacity numbers being quoted are from permits and planned capacities. But capacity to handle waste today is nowhere near that, and it takes much much longer than a few months to build that much capacity,โ€ concluded Holst.

โ€œOn our part at MCWM, our continued focus is simply to service the waste management needs of all our customers,โ€ said Gaetos. โ€œWe hope that we can come to an amicable solution to this problem, which will affect so many millions of residents in Region 3 and Pangasinan, even up to Baguio. We leave it to our legal team, and ultimately to the Courts to decide what happens next. In the meantime, weโ€™ll continue to work and serve our customers and communitiesโ€ Gaetos said.

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