At least 500 cyclists, 200 residents and environmental activists gathered today in San Mateo, Rizal to voice out their opposition to the municipal government’s dumpsite project.
Dubbed as “Padyakan Laban sa Tambakan,” bikers rode around town to raise the awareness of the local residents about the issue.
Bikers in and outside San Mateo said they face the threat of losing their favorite biking area of lush trees and fresh air, once the dumpsite is operational. “Even now that it is only being constructed, some of our members have already been prohibited to ride around the area”, said one biker.
After the one-hour ride, bikers joined other protesters at the San Mateo church for a mass and a program.
Clemente Bautista Jr., national coordinator of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment said the protest action should serve as an alarm to the local government of San Mateo, particularly Mayor Rafael Diaz, who, he said, has been very adamant in pushing and justifying this project despite clear environmental repercussions.
“Diaz’s mandate as mayor is to promote the health and safety of his constituents and advance the right of people to a balanced ecology, as stated in Section 16 of the Local Government Code. By leading the Sangguniang bayan and barangay officials in passing resolutions to approve such hazardous projects, Diaz is acting contrary to his responsibility,” added Bautista.
Kalikasan-PNE is part of the Coalition for a Garbage-Free San Mateo, a newly formed group leading the protest. The coalition contends that the dumpsite situated within Marikina watershed reserve and part of a protected forest area, renders more harm in the long run than any benefit it could ever give in terms of income.(Bulatlat.com)