BAGUIO CITY The local government is relentlessly searching for a permanent solution to the city’s garbage problem to contribute in significantly reducing the huge expenses incurred in hauling residual waste outside the city.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan and members of the local legislative body are in agreement during an executive-legislative meeting Tuesday that the city sees hauling as a temporary solution to the garbage disposal problem aside while it is working on a deal with the Benguet Corporation (BC) for the use of a 12-hectare portion of its Antamok open pit area for the proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility.
“We will not abandon our existing plans for a permanent solution to the city’s garbage disposal problem because our primary objective is to find the most feasible and permanent solution to the existing problem that we have to confront regardless of the cost,” Domogan stressed.
He explained that the city is awaiting the approval of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol on the use of a portion of the Baguio Dairy Farm as a temporary staging area of the residual waste being hauled out to the lowlands before the issuance of the required certificate of non-compliance (CNC) by the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR).
While it is true that there is a petition from the affected residents of Tuba, Benguet against the operation of this temporary staging area, Domogan emphasized it is important for the City General Services Office and the hauler that the no touchdown policy will be strictly complied to avoid foul odor emanating from the staging area.
If there will be waste that will be left in the staging area due to unavoidable circumstances, he asserted that it should be hauled out within 24 hours.
Domogan agreed to the proposal of Councilor Peter Fianza to instead infuse the needed funds to develop the area as a model solid waste disposal facility in compliance with Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, to serve as a model and to show to the people that there is a possibility for the facility to exist even within a populated area because of the proper improvements done within the site.
He added that the local government will dialogue with the concerned residents and officials of Tuba to iron out the issues being raised against the facility considering that the Tuba municipal government can also use the facility as its temporary staging area of its garbage being hauled out of the town since its existing staging area under the Badiwan bridge has some certain issues with the EMB-CAR that should be addressed by the Tuba government.
Domogan also proposed to the Tuba officials to assign trusted personnel to be paid by the city government to participate in the monitoring the operations of the hauler.
By Dexter A. See