Residents of Payatas may finally find respite from the stink that usually greets them every morning along the length of Payatas road on their way to work, as the local government of Quezon City threatened to permanently close some 73 junk shops in the area if they would continue to violate local ordinances and the national environmental code.
After a series of dialogues with junk-shop owners and consultations with the different regulatory offices of Quezon City, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Quezon City Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (QC-EPWMD) has decided to close down hazardous junk shops.
According to Remelito C. Hirang, Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement Section chief of QC-EPWMD, owners of junk shops in Payatas have been ignoring the dialogues set by the city government to address the problem.
“For the environmental management, in the first place they should not refuse other wastes. They must operate as junk shops, or what is stated in their business permits, and many of them are concentrating on the recyclable materials, which is basically selling, trading only,” Hirang noted.
He revealed that although the junk-shop owners have secured permits for buying, selling and trading, they lack permits from national government agencies. It came to a point that their operations have affected the people in the community.
The 73 large-scale junk-shop violators were considered high risk and are involved in sorting activities. The operation of these firms is seen to have caused a highly adverse impact on the community and the environment.
The QC-EPWMD, along with other regulatory offices, the MMDA and DENR, in their consultative meeting, have decided to compel the junk shops to comply with the law.
“We will close the junk shops because we want them to comply with the requirements—not necessarily remove their source of income—until they comply,” Hirang added.
The city government, depending on the period that will be approved by Mayor Herbert Bautista, will monitor the activities of the junk shops, and if there will be no compliance, they will immediately issue a closure order.