BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said that the newly created Task Force Piggeries will spearhead the conduct of a census of all the established commercial and backyard piggeries in the city’s 128 barangays and for the owners of the said piggeries to dispose their animals within a prescribed timeframe to be fixed upon consultations with them.
The local chief executive claimed that the inter-agency task force is spearheaded by representatives from the Cordillera offices of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) and the Housing Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) which are aware of existing national laws that ban the existence of piggeries in urban centers.
Earlier, Domogan created the inter-agency task force to help intensify the all-out campaign of the local government against the proliferation of piggeries in the city’s different barangays to prevent the worsening pollution in several bodies of water in the city due to the alleged unabated dumping of animal waste to the various rivers.
For piggery owners that were not able to establish their own septic tanks for their piggeries, he claimed that there is already a need for them to voluntarily stop their operation while those owners who complied with the establishment of septic tanks in their piggeries, they will be given a reasonable period to dispose their pigs before totally ceasing operations.
“We understand the predicament of the piggery owners wherein they have to establish their own sources of livelihood but they have also to understand that the presence of piggeries in urban centers is prohibited by existing laws that is why we have no recourse but to implement whatever are the contents of the law,” Domogan stressed.
It can be recalled that the EMB-CAR came out with a report that one of the reasons why the fecal coliform in the waters of the Balili river is the alleged existence of piggeries in various barangays that directly dispose animal and human waste to the various tributaries of the said river system.
On the other hand, Domogan claimed the contention of the piggery owners that the operation of piggeries in their backyard is a source of their livelihood through the dispersal projects of concerned government agencies, thus, they have to dispose their pigs pursuant to the conditions they embraced through an agreement with the concerned agency that provided them the livelihood assistance.
Under the administrative order that created the task force piggeries, the members are given a maximum period of 90 days to submit to the City Mayor their findings and recommendations for the putting in place of whatever applicable policies that will address the adjustments to be made during the transition period wherein the piggery owners will be required to dispose their pigs through whatever mode.
Domogan appealed to the piggery owners for utmost understanding because the local government is simply implementing existing national and local laws that actually prohibit piggeries in urban areas which must be respected and enforced and their non-implementation of the law will result to the filing of charges against the city.
By Dexter A. See