Issue of June 10, 2018
     
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Task force recommends closure of all piggeries in Baguio City
by Ofelia C. Empian and Hanna C. Lacsamana

An inter-agency task force created to monitor piggeries in Baguio recommended for the closure of all piggeries in the city as it is found to be one of the major pollutants in the Balili River and a nuisance to the community. 

Environmental Management Bureau-Cordillera Director Reynaldo Digamo said most of the piggery owners direct their canals into the various tributaries that eventually end up to the Balili River. 

He reported the task force has inventoried 644 pigs in five out of 128 barangays of the city initially monitored.

Of the number, 111 pigs are counted at Outlook Drive; 24 in Lualhati; 259 in Gibraltar; 174 in Pacdal; and 76 in St. Joseph barangay.

He said the piggery wastes contain high coliform bacteria, which are organisms that are present in the feces of all warm-blooded animals and humans. 

“We would like to clarify that we have nothing against raising pigs and swine, provided they do it in the right place,” Digamo said. 

He said the government recognizes that raising pigs is part of the culture and a livelihood source of many communities in the Cordillera, and which is actually not illegal. However in the law, piggeries should not be located in urban areas. 

Nakakalungkot isipin na matagal nang binaboy ng mga nag-aalaga ng mga baboy ang Balili River, which accents the landscapes of Baguio City, La Trinidad, and flows to La Union,” he said.  

Digamo said the task force will give time to piggery owners to dispose of their pigs, adding that the closure of these piggeries was recommended by the inter-agency task force on piggeries recently created through an administrative order by Mayor Mauricio Domogan. 

The task force under Administrative Order 43-2018 shall inspect the existing backyard piggeries in the city and coordinate with the barangay officials in monitoring the compliance of these piggery owners. 

“Backyard piggeries have mushroomed in some of the city’s 128 barangays that serve as one of the major sources of livelihood of some residents which reportedly cause nuisance among their neighbors and pollute the water considering that waste from the piggeries are unscrupulously dumped in various river systems while it also pollutes the air due to the obnoxious odor emanating from the same,” the AO stated. 

The task force is composed by the City Environment and Parks Management Office as its chairperson, City Health and Services Officer as the action officer with City Veterinarian, City Building official, representative from the EMB-Cordillera, and representative from the Housing Land Use and Regulatory Board-Cordillera as members.


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