BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored that the situation of the mountain resort city should not be directly compared with what happened in Boracay island because the situation in the two areas are actually totally different from each other.
The local chief executive discussed that in the case of Boracay, there was a previous derogatory report from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) that tourism facilities in the said island do not have the appropriate waste water disposal facilities unlike in the city where there has been no derogatory report yet from the EMB because concerned government agencies and the local government are closely working together to address key environmental issues that must be corrected by tourism-related establishments.
“We are not like Boracay because we continuously look into possible ways and means on how to correct emerging environmental problems of tourism-related establishments operating in the city. We make sure that our hotels have their own sewage treatment plants to cater to their generated waste so as not to contribute in the pollution of our river systems,” Domogan stressed.
He pointed out that the local government, in close coordination with neighboring local governments and the private sector, came out with the Salaknib ti Waig program which is geared towards effectively and efficiently addressing the pollution not only of the Balili river but also its tributaries and other river systems around the city to guarantee that the quality of water will be compliant to the standards provided under the Clean Water Act.
In terms of sustaining the good to fair air quality around the city, Domogan emphasized the local government remains aggressive in the implementation of the city’s anti-smokebelching ordinance through the roadside inspection and monitoring team whereby motor vehicles emitting bad smoke are apprehended and imposed stringent fines even if the same has been frequently used as a political issue against him.
According to him, the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) is regularly conducting the required inspection of establishments to ensure that they are connected with the city’s main sewer system and not on the drainage system so that their waste water will be treated by the city’s sewerage treatment facility.
Further, he said that the local government embarked on the put up of a separate sewage treatment plant for the waste generated by the city’s abattoir within the slaughterhouse compound to address the EMB’s recommendation for the put up of the said facility to separate the treatment of the huge volume of waste generated by the abattoir.
On the other hand, the local government and the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH) is also in close coordination for the planned put up of a sewerage treatment plant within the City Camp Lagoon area to cater to put in place the sewerage system in the various barangays surrounding the City Camp area.
Earlier, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo announced that the tourism department is looking into Baguio City as the next area that needs to be rehabilitated after the closure of Boracay considering that aside from beach areas, the agency is also looking on the need to improve the situation in identified nature destinations like the city in the future.
By Dexter A. See