BAGUIO CITY – The City Council invited officials of concerned departments of the local government agencies to appear before its regular session on Monday, January 23, 2017, to shed light on the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan to ascertain the city’s direction on how to effectively and efficiently address the garbage disposal problem of the city.
The local legislative body wants City Environment and Parks Management Officer Cordelia Lacsamana, City General Services Officer Romeo D. Concio, Environmental Management Bureau Regional director Reynaldo Digamo and the consultants of the city for the Waste Analysis and Characterization Survey (WACS) to clarify and answer the questions on how will the city address its garbage problem.
Pending before the local legislative body is the adoption of the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan that involves the establishment of its integrated solid waste disposal facility either in the Antamok open-pit area or within the 139-hectare city-owned property in barangay Sto. Tomas School Area.
Some of the council members are questioning why the city’s solid waste management plan was approved by the National Solid Waste Commission (NSWMC) without the adoption of the plan by the local legislative body.
However, Concio repeatedly explained it was the city’s WACS contractors that submitted the finalized plan to the NSWMC for comments and recommendations prior to its submission to the local legislative body but the NSWMC instead approved the plan even without the resolution from the council.
The council decided to conditionally approve the plan but suspended the implementation of the put up of the integrated solid waste disposal facility to assess the feasibility of the identified sites for the facility.
Among the components of the proposed city’s integrated solid waste disposal facility is a centralized materials recovery facility, an anaerobic digester, an engineered sanitary landfill, a waste-to-energy plant, Environmental Recycling System (ERS) machines, a health and medical waste treatment plant and a special waste treatment plant.
The Committee on Health and Sanitation, Ecology and Environment Protection recommended the adoption of the city’s 10-year solid waste management plan, the final results of the WACS and the final copy of the solid waste management plan 2015-2024.
Concio claimed it is still best for the local government to maintain its options open with the Sto. Tomas property as an alternative site for its integrated solid waste disposal facility to allow the city to have an immediate back up plan once the Antamok project will not materialize.
Earlier, Benguet Corporation (BC) management and its development partner Goldrich Natural Exploration and Development Inc. entered into a memorandum of agreement with the local governments of Baguio and Itogon for the put up of the integrated solid waste disposal facility that will cater to the generated wastes within the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tub-Tublay (BLISTT) area.
The conversion of the 60-hectare open pit site to an integrated solid waste disposal facility is part of the proposed rehabilitation of the mined out area pursuant to the final mine rehabilitation and decommissioning plant.
By Dexter A. See