BAGUIO CITY – Environment officials denounced the continuous operation of piggeries in the different barangays of Baguio City that continues to be the major source of pollution of the city’s major waterways amidst efforts by concerned stakeholders to institute the necessary corrective measures regarding their operations.
Reynaldo S. Digamo, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR, said that one of the notable violations of backyard or commercial piggery owners in the city’s barangays is directly discharging their waste water to the tributaries of major river systems or even directly to bodies of water that frequently result to the bad quality of water in the said bodies of water.
“We understand that the operation of piggeries is a source of livelihood for some residents. What we have been emphasizing is that for piggery owners to comply with the prescribed standards of maintaining piggeries within residential areas so as not to cause inconvenience among the people in the congested areas,” Digamo stressed.
The EMB-CAR official explained that piggeries are banned in residential areas pursuant to existing law, rules and regulations and it is the obligation of the local government to ensure that no piggeries will exist, especially in congested areas.
Earlier, the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) Governing Board passed a resolution requesting concerned local governments to institute the appropriate measures that will ensure the non-existence of piggeries in residential areas in their areas of jurisdiction.
However, Digamo noted that even within the Pacdal and Gibraltar areas, there are piggeries that directly discharge their waste water to the tributaries of the Balili river which should not actually be the case considering combined efforts by concerned stakeholders to help in cleaning the said river from pollutants.
He pointed out that it has been highly recommended that piggery owners must construct their own operational septic tanks compliant with existing standards so that waste water emanating from the piggeries will be treated before being discharged to the different bodies of water for the piggery owners to be able to contribute in maintain the good quality of water in the various bodies of water around the city in the future.
Aside from showing concern for the inconveniences caused by the presence of the piggeries in crowded areas in the city, Digamo emphasized the need for the piggery owners to have a sense of concern for the efforts being shown by concerned sectors for the preservation and protection of the environment by voluntarily instituting the appropriate corrective measures in their piggeries and not to wait for concerned government agencies and the local government to impose the appropriate fines and sanctions that will eventually result to the stoppage of their operations in the future.
He emphasized there is nothing wrong in doing business provided that owners must strictly adhered to the prevailing standards of the industry and for them not to hide under the protection of their benefactors who are often politicians and influential government officials because what is at stake is the future stat6e of the environment that will be passed on to future generations of residents.