Baguio, Itogon dialogue to be scheduled

BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan is pushing for the immediate scheduling of a dialogue between officials of the local government and Itogon relative to the planned establishment of the city’s proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility within a 29.22-hectare property of the Benguet Corporation (BC) situated in its former Antamok open pit site to address whatever issues and concerns arising from the said plan.

The local chief executive underscored the best way to deal with the problem is for city officials to dialogue with their counterparts so that whatever issues and concerns that will be raised will be addressed by the concerned agencies and the local government pursuant to efforts of being transparent and accountable on the said environmentally critical project.

Earlier, Itogon municipal officials expressed their objection to the plan of the Baguio local government to establish its proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility within a portion of the 29.22-hectare BC property which was the subject of a deed of usufruct between the mining company and the city government.

Under the agreement, the local government will use the area for its planned solid waste disposal project for a period of 25 years for free.

“We believe that when a property is patented and titled in the name of a natural or juridical person, it is imprescriptible and indefeasible considering that it was already removed from the alienable and disposable public land,” Domogan stressed.

He asserted that there is no need to debate about the matter because what is important is that local officials are willing to dialogue with their counterparts in Itogon to discuss the intricacies of the planned put up of the city’s integrated solid waste disposal facility which is deemed as the permanent solution to the city’s garbage disposal problem that will put an end to the expensive hauling of its residual waste to a qualified sanitary landfill in the lowlands which is currently located in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan.

According to him, BC also donated to Itogon a smaller portion of its property which is near the area being the subject of a deed of usufruct with the city government which will be used by the municipal government for the establishment of its temporary residual containment area (TRCA) that is why if the area will be suitable for the municipality to put up its waste disposal project, then the nearby area might also be suitable for the project of Baguio.

It can be recalled that BC management offered to the local government the use of a portion of its former Antamok open pit site for the establishment of its proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility through a deed of usufruct for a 25-year period for free to help address its garbage disposal problem.

Among the components of the proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility include the put up of a centralized materials recovery facility, an engineered sanitary landfill, an anaerobic digester, the operation of the city’s Environmental Recycling System (ERS) machines, a medical and health waste treatment plant and a special waste treatment plant.

Domogan underscored that hauling of the city’s residual waste is still the doable intervention to prevent the occurrence of a serious garbage problem in the city while the local government is finding a permanent solution to address the expensive stop gap solution to save on the huge expenses being incurred to haul out the city’s waste to Urdaneta. By Dexter A.

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