BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan expressed his gratitude to the Romualdez-owned Benguet Corporation (BC) for sustaining the company’s earlier commitment for the use of a portion of its Antamok open pit site for the put up of a waste to energy facility in partnership with its private developer and a technology provider.
The local chief executive admitted having an emergency meeting with BC top executives and other interest groups to thresh out minor problems that cropped up while the company’s private partner, Goldrich Natural Exploration and Development, Inc., was performing its due diligence activities pursuant to a tripartite memorandum of agreement signed among the involved parties last year.
“We remain committed to deliver the required volume of waste daily to guarantee the sustainability of the operation of the waste-to-energy plant which will be constructed within the company’s Antamok open pit site. We are grateful that we ironed out the minor problems that cropped up and we are confident that the project will push through in the near future,” Domogan stressed.
Goldrich wants BC to turn over the 60-hectare Antamok open pit site to the former for it to pursue the construction and development of the proposed waste-to-energy plant within the mill site area which was identified by experts to be the most feasible site for the project to allow its operation within a reasonable period of time that will help address the garbage disposal area of the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) local governments.
Domogan explained BC management agreed to comply with its commitment under the memorandum of agreement that was executed last year so that its private partner could already start working on the realization of the put up of the waste to energy plant and help the affected local governments effectively and efficiently address their solid waste disposal concerns.
Earlier, the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) declared that the Antamok open pit site and its surrounding areas owned by Benguet Corporation are feasible for the establishment of the proposed waste to energy plant geared towards addressing the solid waste disposal problems of the concerned localities.
EMB-CAR regional director Reynaldo S. Digamo said Baguio City and the other local governments wanting to use the facility as its compliance to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act will simply be clients of the operator of the waste to energy plant and will be required to pay the corresponding tipping fee for every ton of garbage that will be dumped in the facility.
Domogan pointed out the local government, together with other neighboring local governments and their partners, are doing their best to implement a permanent solution to their garbage disposal problems amidst the challenges that confront the realization of their identified solution that is why their constituents must understand that the priority concern of their local officials will be the lasting solution to their waste disposal problems to help significantly reduce the huge expenses of the city in the hauling of its generated residual waste to the Capas sanitary landfill operated by the management of Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation.
By Dexter A. See