BONTOC, Mountain Province – This capital town’s best practices on solid waste management continues to inspire other municipalities to give attention and exert effort on finding solutions to garbage problem in their localities.
Speaking before leaders and health workers of the different municipalities in Mountain Province during the Gag-gag-ay for Health on September 25, 2018, Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey shared the struggle of Bontoc in finding a solution to the garbage problem.
Odsey relayed how the filing of Writ of Kalikasan against Bontoc in August 2012 for its open dumping of waste along the Chico River in Sitio Matoytoy-ok, Barangay Caluttit has challenged Bontoc and how the Court of Appeals ordered the closure and rehabilitation of the dumpsite. The mayor, together with the members of the Sangguniang Bayan, had just started their term of that year. They barely had two months to plan, prepare and rehabilitate the dumpsite and find means of waste disposal.
With the support of the community, the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) instituted programs towards the goals of closing the decades-old dumpsite and instilling a new sustainable paradigm on solid waste management. These include Oplan Pera Sa Basura Program being participated in by all elementary and high schools; formation of the Bontoc Green Police; establishment of Eco-parks; Senior Citizens Eco-brick and Eco-brick Making Project; No Plastic No Styrofoam Policy and Development of Residual Waste Processing Facility.
Odsey added that even with the meager and limited budget and resources of municipal government, it strived and worked out for the procurement and development of a Solid Waste Management (SWM) facility at Am-ancho, Bontoc Ili. It is also where the Temporary Residual Containment Area (TRCA), composting area and bottle/plastic shredding areas are located.
Also, 20,000 pieces of eco-blocks were used in the construction of the new Bontoc Municipal Capitol.
He humbly said that these actions undertaken by the people and officialdom of Bontoc came into fruition as the municipality was recognized in the regional and national levels.
These include the Green Police Award during the 1st Cordillera Environmental Summit in 2016; the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) National Awards covering Best Regional Partner, People’s Choice Award, Most Environmental – friendly Project and Best Livelihood for Special Projects; Environmental Award during the 2017 Cordillera Regional Summit; Best Practice and Exemplary Contribution in the Implementation of Environmental Laws; and Best Material Recovery Facility (MRF) operated by a Local Government Unit in the Province, both during the 2018 Cordillera Regional Summit.
“The awards are a result of the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders-the LGU, the barangays, the schools, the business sector, and the community in general. There is still a long way to go so we still need everyone’s commitment as regards waste management,” the mayor voiced.
Meanwhile, in recognition of his selfless sharing of the best practices of Bontoc on solid waste management, at the same time inspiring other municipalities to do the same, Odsey was given a Certificate of Recognition and a token by the Department of Health (DOH) – Provincial Office and Provincial Health Office.
By Alpine L. Killa, Bontoc