BAGUIO CITY August 9 – The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) and concerned offices of the local government gave hundreds of piggery owners in the different barangays in the city until November this year to institute the appropriate mitigating measures that will put an end to the unabated dumping of animal waste to the various river systems or to dispose their pigs.
EMB-CAR regional director Reynaldo S. Digamo, who presided over dialogue between representatives of concerned government agencies, concerned local officials and piggery owners Thursday, said that concerned stakeholders agree to conduct a re-inspection of the piggeries in the different barangays to ascertain their possible compliance to the recommended mitigating measures that will prevent the piggery owners from directly dumping their waste into the major river systems and their tributaries and to determine those owners who cannot actually comply with the prescribed mitigating measures.
He explained that piggery owners who will be found to have sufficient spaces to establish their septic tanks and other applicable technologies that will treat the animal waste from their piggeries will be given until November to construct their recommended structures that will abate the wilful dumping animal waste to the rivers, creeks and their tributaries.
However, Digamo claimed that for piggery owners who will be assessed to have the difficulty in establishing their recommended mitigating measures, the will be given only until November this year to dispose their pigs in their backyard and that they will no longer be allowed to pursue their lucrative trade.
“We respect that pig raising is part of the culture of Cordillerans for them to earn a decent income for their families. We agree that it is their right to earn living for their families but there is a need for pig raisers to also respect the right of other individuals in their neighbourhood to live in a clean and sanitary environment,” Digamo stressed.
The EMB-CAR official disclosed that the piggery owners who attended the dialogue were hesitant in adhering to the prescribed ultimatum imposed by the agency and the local government on the presence of piggeries in the different barangays but it took some time for representatives of concerned government agencies and officers of some city government departments to convince them to agree to the compromise because the government is inclined to rid the city with the presence of piggeries pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
After the November deadline, he claimed that there will be again another round of inspection that will be conducted by the inter-agency task force on piggeries to assess and evaluate the compliance of piggery owners to the recommended institution of mitigating measures for the effectiveness of such instituted measures and assess the real capacity of the existing pig pens to accommodate the actual number of pigs that could be raised in certain period of time.
Earlier, mayor Mauricio G. Domogan created an inter-agency task force to conduct an inventory of piggery owners and the actual number of pigs in the different barangays in the city in preparation for the implementation of staggered measures that will lead to the dismantling of piggeries which were identified as one of the major causes of pollution in the different bodies of water around the city.
By Dexter A. See