BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored that the implementation of the city’s proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility will pass through the stringent requirements being imposed by concerned government agencies for the guaranteed preservation and protection of the environment in the area where it will be established and the health of the people in the surrounding communities pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
The local chief executive vehemently denied the allegations of the critics of the project that the local government will willfully dump the city’s garbage in the ceded property of Benguet Corporation (BC) within its former Antamok open pit site in nearby Itogon, saying that the realization of the project will pass through whatever existing procedures prescribed by concerned government agencies in consultation with the Itogon municipal government and other stakeholders.
“We sympathize with the people and officialdom of Itogon for what happened during the onslaught of Tropical Storm Ompong. We are fully are of what happened to the town that is why we continue to reach out to the municipal officials on the best thing to do for the proposed solid waste disposal project which will not only be used by the city government but also the other towns in the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area,” Domogan stressed.
He disclosed that representatives of concerned government agencies and the local government had been reaching out to Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan for a meeting several times to thresh out the issues and concerns regarding the project but he had been sending a representative who cannot make decisions to attend said meetings, thus, issues regarding the project remain enacted open.
According to him, the proposed integrated solid waste facility is not intended for the sole use of the local government but other nearby towns of Benguet which have existing problems on their compliance to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act will be allowed to use the facilities that will be established to effectively and efficiently address their garbage disposal problems.
Domogan emphasized that one of the primary purposes of the BLISTT is for the harmonious working relationship among the concerned local governments that is why even if the city government will be the one that will spend for the realization of the state-of-the-art solid waste disposal project, other local governments will be allowed to use the available facilities for whatever purpose.
He claimed that it is unfair for critics of the project to allege that Itogon will be a dumping ground of the city’s garbage considering that garbage disposal activities will have to pass through stringent regulations being imposed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its attached agencies so as not to harm the environment and affect the health of the people living in the villages situated near the proposed facilities. He claimed that the local government is always sensitive about the effects of the project that is why it always adheres to whatever requirements that will be imposed by concerned government agencies for the betterment of the environment and the people living in the villages.
By Dexter A. See