BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan expressed the desire of the local government to have a sustainable working relationship with the newly assigned regional director of the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) similar to the city’s working relationship with her predecessor.
The local chief executive said that most of the local officials of the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area were surprised over the sudden relief of former EMB-CAR regional director Reynaldo S. Digamo who had been reportedly doing well in the implementation of government programs and projects for the preservation and protection of the environment considering his close coordination with concerned government agencies, local governments and private partners.
“We hope that the gains of our environmental preservation and protection programs will continue to be improved with the new EMB-CAR regional directors that there will be sustainability and continuity in the short- medium and long-term interventions geared towards improving the state of the city’s environment,” Domogan stressed.
Digamo turned over to newly-installed EMB-CAR regional director Maria Victoria V. Abrera his old post and eventually assumed his new position as the officer-in-charge of EMB Region 10 in Cagayan de Oro.
Domogan expressed his gratitude to Digamo for having been consistent in reminding the local government on the pertinent provisions of existing laws, rules and regulations governing the prohibition of the existence of piggeries in highly urbanized cities which is one of the uncompleted programs and projects that will be left behind by Digamo and to be sustained and pursued by the newly installed EMB-CAR official.
See Reynaldo Digano’s farewell speech
According to him, he was being blamed by the backyard piggery owners for the dismantling of their sources of livelihood but he was just complying with the directives from the EMB-Car on the prohibition of the presence of piggeries in urban centers which must be continuously explained to the concerned parties to avoid wrong perceptions that the local government did not do anything about the issue.
The EMB-CAR was constrained to strictly enforce the prohibition on the presence of piggeries in the city following the results of the water quality tests on various river systems in the city, including the Balili river, that showed that from the ideal 100 most probable number (MPN) of pollutants in the water, the MPN for fecal coliform in the water of Balili river reached hundreds of billions that warrants the implementation of drastic measures to prevent the river system from being heavily polluted in the future.
One of the drastic measures that have to be undertaken pursuant to the EMB-CAR recommendations is the outright removal of the piggeries that directly discharge their waste to the river systems and their tributaries although some of the piggery owners were given lead time to remove their piggeries for humanitarian purposes.
Other important projects by the EMB-CAR that must be sustained include the water quality management area, the ambient air quality monitoring among other important aspects of environmental preservation and protection.
By Dexter A. See