Issue of April 7, 2019
Mt. Province

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Mankayan belies it is source of garbage along highway
by Harley F. Palangchao

The local government of Mankayan, Benguet, has officially informed Malacañang that the tons of strewn garbage along the Abatan-Guinaoang-Mankayan Road and burning of trash is not the fault of the LGU.

The LGU also informed Presidential Complaint Center Director Jaime Mabilin that the garbage being burned along the Abatan-Guinaoang-Mankayan Road, photos of which were forwarded by a concerned citizen, has been jointly addressed by the municipality and the LGU of nearby Buguias.

The Mankayan LGU through Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer Designate Joy Bocanog reported to Malacañang that the strewn garbage along the national road came from nearby Buguias town during Typhoon Ompong in September 2019.

However, government personnel and civilian volunteers cleared the road of  garbage and other debris.

At least 400 sacks of garbage were collected during the cleanup drive with 60 percent were brought to the Mankayan eco-solid waste management park while the remaining 35 percent were brought to a temporary residuals containment area in Barangay Guinaoang.

Following the incident, the barangay council of Guinaoang, Mankayan passed a resolution urging the Mankayan LGU to take action against the Buguias LGU for continuously dumping garbage within the territorial jurisdiction of the municipality, west of the Halsema Highway, and along the Abatan-Cervantes Road.

The barangay council claimed that bulk of garbage strewn along the roads during Typhoon Ompong came from Abatan, an urbanized area in Buguias.

The municipal council of Mankayan likewise passed a resolution urging the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to conduct an investigation on the continued illegal dumping of garbage along the Abatan-Cervantes Road within the territorial jurisdiction of the municipality.

The EMB-CAR in response conducted a technical conference with representatives of Mankayan and Buguias LGUs along with concerned barangays to resolve the continued dumping of garbage along the Abatan-Cervantes Road.

During the conference, the local officials of Abatan, Buguias committed to install signages prohibiting indiscriminate dumping of garbage and for the barangay officials to enact ordinances on proper solid waste management.

The Mankayan LGU, meanwhile, informed Malacañang that the photos of supposed garbage being burned that were published in mainstream and social media platforms were from the earlier trash slide that were sorted out by stakeholders from two municipalities.

The burning of garbage, according to the report of the Mankayan LGU, was not intentional as claimed by some quarters.

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