Pandan Antique Philippines

Appeal to Sec. Robert Aventajado

December 12, 2000

Honorable Roberto N. Aventajado
Chairman, Greater Metro Manila
Waste Management Committee
and Chairman of Flagship Projects
6th Flr., EDPC, Central Bank Bldg.
Roxas Blvd., Manila

Dear Secretary Aventajado:

In behalf of the Pagtatap Foundation, I would like to bring to your attention an important and urgent issue that is of great concern to us, the people of the town of Pandan in the Province of Antique. That concern and urgent issue is the decision arrived at by the MMDA to make the Semirara island which is part of the Province of Antique, the main dumping site of the six (6) tons of daily garbage emanating from Metro Manila.

For a brief information of Pagtatap Foundation, the name is the acronym for “Pagtiriripon Tang Mga Taga Pandan”. Its membership consists of residents and non-residents who were born, grew up and have their links to the town. It has been in existence for 14 years and has been responsible for a lot of civic, community services and livelihood projects intended for the upliftment of the poor people of Pandan. Our flagship project that the Foundation has worked on for 8 years has been the putting up of a Tap Water System with the help of the Japanese Asian Friendship Society. The people of Pandan now enjoy the availability of tap water since 1998.

It is through this letter that we would like to express our STRONG PROTEST to the plan to make Semirara island the major dumpsite of Metro Manila garbage.

We feel that there is lack of transparency on the part of the officials tasked to look for alternative dumpsite since the plan has not been formally disclosed nor published adequately for the information of the general public. We have learned that the residents of Semirara island nor the Mayor of the town of Caluya who has governance over the island have not been consulted on the plan. Our group relied only for information from newspaper columnists and through radio and television commentaries.

We ourselves are not aware of the details of the plan but no matter what, making Semirara island as the dumpsite of the garbage from Metro Manila will surely affect our natural environment and the eco-system of the locality and the region. Has the Waste Management Committee fully assessed and evaluated the implication of this plan on the tourism business in the nearby Boracay Island?

Honorable Secretary, we would like to be enlightened further on the details of the plan and would like therefore to request for a meeting with you at your most convenient date and time. Please give us this opportunity.

We have attached herewith copies of letters of protest and our petition to stop the plan of MMDA to dump Metro Manila’s garbage to Semirara island. We hope you could give us a little of your time before you make your final decision.

Very truly yours,


Department Head
Social Service & Out-Patient Department, and
Overall Administrative Officer, Makati Health Program

Att: copies of Open Letter and personal letters
Cc: Mayor Jejomar Binay, Chairman-MMDA